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Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011

The season is almost over. It is time to look back and reflect on the positives and negatives. The hype before tip-off was through the roof. There was a lot of anticipation on new rivalries and storylines to be played out. Will the South Beach trio work out? How will Blake Griffin play? Is Steve Nash’s window closed? Are the Lakers still the team to beat? Kevin Durant got the MVP? The Chicago Bulls are 4th seeders, right?

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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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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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2011 MVP Race – Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron, Wade, Rose, Nowitzki, Howard, Durant
Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 J.N.

2011 MVP Race – Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron, Wade, Rose, Nowitzki, Howard, Durant

The newly minted 2011 All Star game MVP worked his way to be the star of stars. 37 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 steals are great numbers. Props to Kobe. It is back to business since All Star weekend is over. Where is Kobe in the league MVP race? Remember, this isn’t the legacy award  like the All Star spots. Everyone has to put in serious work. That includes Bryant who is usually penciled in before the season started. Every great player's time fades away, too. It sucks, but that's life.

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Tuesday , Feb , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Could OKC Thunder really get Kevin Love?

I’m not saying the Wolves are or should be looking to trade Love- the sole issue at point is that they would not hang up the phone immediately if Sam Presti came calling.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the surface, it doesn’t sound realistic –Kevin Love joining Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder.

Here are two facts about Sam Presti, the Thunder’s lead executive, resident whiz kid, and one of the up-and coming suits in pro sports.

First, after making his bones with the San Antonio Spurs, Presti has rebuilt the Thunder through astute drafting, collecting undervalued assets, and maintaining fiscal sanity. He’s ready to use some of these excess chips to put his club over-the-top with a significant trade and/or signing.

Second, that may mean trying to bring the league’s leading rebounder to Oklahoma City. After all, Presti has a plan for every situation and scenario, and knows how well Love would complement Durant, Westbrook, and the raw Serge Ibaka.

Right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Love seem connected. The country strong post has given the lowly Wolves an identity for the first time since you-know-who was dealt to the Boston Celtics.

These two are far from married, though.

Love may be having a fine season; however, he’s not untouchable. He has shown little interest in inking a long-term extension with the Wolves. His relationship with Coach Kurt Rambis is touch-and-go.

Bottom line: Love wants to win now. No more waiting; no more rebuilding. He knows he won’t win championships in The Frozen Tundra of Sota.

While it isn’t likely, Love to the Thunder isn’t impossible. It makes some sense. For now, that will keep us talking.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Kevin Durant – One Dimensional MVP
Friday , Feb , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Kevin Durant – One Dimensional MVP

The streets are buzzing. I’m going to agree with this. The future NBA commercial featuring him and some old black guy standing there talking about his future is creepy. That pissed off Seattle. Sorry, Seattle. That sucked just to watch. You’ll always have Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. And Shawn Kemp’s kids. And grunge. And a band formerly called “Mookie Blaylock” that became Pearl Jam. And Gary Payton’s trash talking. That was the ish back in the day.

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Monday , Jan , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh ‘a fake tough guy’

"I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his 2 cents into it. I'm a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit," Durant said. "There's a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them," Durant added.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh isn’t exactly respected by his NBA peers.

Shaquille O’Neal once branded him the ‘RuPaul’ of big men. Amar’e Stoudemire boasted to the world that he was better than Bosh. Today, Kevin Durant called him a ‘fake tough guy’.

Durant’s comments came after his Oklahoma City Thunder dropped a close game to Bosh’s Miami Heat on national television. The lanky three-man missed a fade-away jumper in the closing seconds which would have sent the game to overtime.

However, the tough loss wasn’t the reason for Durant’s outburst. Earlier in the game, he and Bosh bumped into each other and exchanged words. Both were given technical fouls.

Clearly, Durant doesn’t believe Bosh can back-up the tough talk. And he isn’t the only one.  

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below
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Friday , Jan , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade named 2011 All-Star starters

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Today, the NBA announced their starting line-up for the February 20th All-Star game in Los Angeles.

Of course, the fans vote in the starters. And the Western and Eastern Conference’s line-ups are filled with the usual suspects. Check out the list below and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

Western Conference:

G Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

G Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

F Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

F Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

C Yao Ming, Houston Rockets

Eastern Conference:

G Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

G Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

F LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

F Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks

C Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

 --Oly Sandor

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

 

 

 

2011 All-Star Starters Announced
Friday , Jan , 28 , 2011 Christopher Sells

2011 All-Star Starters Announced

 Your 2011 NBA All-Star Game starters, as voted by the fans and announced by the NBA are below. The game will be played in Los Angeles on February 20.

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Sunday , Jan , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Durant owns New York with fade-away three-pointer

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The legend of Kevin Durant continues to grow. 

Last night, the lanky scorer won the game for his upstart Oklahoma City Thunder with a fade-away three pointer against the New York Knicks. Watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Durant’s heroics in the comment box. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jan , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Josh Smith feels ‘disrespected’ by Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook

Asked if he was upset by Ibaka’s dunk, or the foul, or both, Smith said, “You know what it was. That’s showing disrespect (dunking the ball). Everybody in the whole league knows you don’t do nothing like that. I talked to Durant about it. He said he would talk to him (Ibaka) about it, and he knew that wasn’t right.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as offensive as Andray Blatche screaming at a teammate or Ricky Davis shooting on his own basket.

It was close, though.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and center Serge Ibaka won’t win any friends on the Atlanta Hawks by padding their statistics in the final moments of yesterday’s game.

Last night, the Thunder had beaten the Hawks. Time was set to expire. Both teams seemed content to let the final seconds play out and move on to the next game.

Then Westbrook suddenly passed the ball to Ibaka for an uncontested, breakaway dunk. Westbrook needed one assist for a triple-double, while Ibaka needed two points for a double-double.

This is a no-no.

The Hawks’ Mike Bibby and Josh Smith rightfully took exception to Westbrook and Ibaka’s actions. Thunder superstar Kevin Durant was left to play peacemaker after the game.

Even Thunder coach Scott Brooks couldn’t defend his players, telling The Oklahoman “when you got the game won, you run the clock out”. Anyway, watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Westbrook and Ibaka’s last second basket against the Hawks.

 
(Ibaka's dunk is at the end of the highlight package.)
 
--Oly Sandor.
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Monday , Nov , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant had private shootaround with Obama

Kevin Durant had his own private shootaround with President Barack Obama back in September.

Durant was passed over for an opportunity to play pick-up basketball with Obama on Aug. 8 when Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul were invited to Fort McNair to do so.

According to a report in The Oklahoman, Durant's agents made a connection with Reggie Love, Obama's special assistant and personal aide, to get Durant an exclusive invitation to shoot hoops with the president.

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Wednesday , Oct , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

To extend or not extend: Portland`s Greg Oden saga

Greg Oden will not sign a contract extension with the Blazers ahead of the Nov. 1 deadline, his agent has confirmed. That means Oden will become a restricted free agent this summer.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To extend or not extend. That is the question.

The Portland Trail Blazers are in an interesting spot with former first overall pick Greg Oden.

On the one hand, they must proceed cautiously. Oden’s history of injuries makes it impossible for the Blazers to offer a long-term extension worth the GDP of a developing nation.

At least, right now it’s impossible. The seven-footer has much to prove and much to make up for.

On the other hand, the Blazers must maximize their asset. After all, Oden was a celebrated draft pick, taken before superstar Kevin Durant.

This is a massive commitment, so the organization has to continue supporting, nurturing, and developing their fragile post.

So far, Oden’s career has been a struggle. However, the Blazers can’t make the situation worse by giving up too soon.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , Oct , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: Brandon Roy toughest opponent to guard

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was asked on the John Thompson Show who he feels is the toughest opponent to guard in the NBA. Instead of picking Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Bryant went with Portland's Brandon Roy.

"Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses in his game," Bryant said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No surprise here.

NBA fans shouldn’t be shocked Kobe Bryant picked perennial All-Star Brandon Roy as his toughest cover over Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

There’s no agenda here. There’s no subtle slight against the game’s more marketable superstars, either. 

Bryant was simply speaking his mind. Here’s why he was making sense:

1) Roy’s a fundamentally-sound, Tim Duncan-type in a two-man’s body.  He does everything well and uses his mind, not athleticism, to succeed.

2) Bryant is a student of the game. He spends hours in the video room, analyzing where to attack opponents like Durant, James, and Wade.

Bryant has probably spent a day or two watching Roy and has clearly concluded he has no weakness. There’s no Achilles heal to expose.

3) Roy’s Portland Trail Blazers have had some success against the Los Angeles Lakers, especially at home in The Rose Garden.

--Oly Sandor.

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


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Monday , Sep , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant and Team USA win FIBA World Championship -without LeBron, D-Wade, or Melo

Kevin Durant scored 28 points to lead Team USA to an 81-64 victory over Turkey to win the gold medal at the World Championships in Istanbul.

It marked the American's first World Championship title since 1994. Durant set a record at the tournament for the most points scored by a U.S. player.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who needs LeBron? Who needs D-Wade? Who needs `Melo?

Not Team USA.

Mike Krzyzewski’s squad didn’t need the superstars from their gold medal winning team in Beijing –most of whom passed on the FIBA World Championship to rest and relax the summer away.

This version of Stars and Stripes had Kevin Durant, who scored at will. They also had a collectivist, team-first approach that would have made Mao, Che, and Stalin proud.

For their efforts, they also have a gold medal, beating the host Turkish side 81-64 to win America’s first FIBA World Championship since 1994.

Here’s where it gets interesting: will Coach ‘K’ take this squad to the 2012 Olympics or will he take the superstars who decided to skip the World Championship?

Either way, it’s a rather nice problem to have.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Sep , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Durant sets record with 38 points, USA beats Lithuania in semi-finals laugher

Kevin Durant is unlike most of America's biggest basketball stars. He couldn't wait to wear the red, white and blue this summer.

Especially on Sept. 11.

With a special memorial message on his sneakers, Durant carried the United States into the gold-medal game at the world championship, scoring a U.S.-record 38 points Saturday in an 89-74 victory over Lithuania.

"I just wanted to remember everybody back in the States, everybody that was affected by 9/11," Durant said. "And to play on this day was a great honor and we just tried to do our best to play hard for our country and our families."

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Tuesday , Sep , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Can Durant and Thunder stop Kobe and Lakers from three-peating?

Coupled with the stiff resistance that the Thunder offered the Lakers last spring, the coming of age of both of these players bodes well for the immediate and long-range success of the Oklahoma City Thunder ... That leaves Dallas and Oklahoma City as the Lakers' only viable competition.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, the Oklahoma City Thunder is on the rise.

The upstart franchise pushed the world champion Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 Western Conference Quarter-Finals. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City’s best players, have represented USA well at the FIBA World Championships.   

So the student, the Thunder, is learning. However, they aren’t ready to challenge the master in 2011, the Lakers. After all, the purple and gold has improved, too.
 
For instance, Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol have spent this summer getting healthy; a leaner, meaner Ron Artest will have another year in the triple-post; and Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, and Theo Ratliff will bring consistency to the second-unit.

The Lakers are primed for a three-peat. In 2011, the Thunder won’t be ready to stop them.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Andre Iguodala: ‘Kevin Durant will be the NBA’s all-time leading scorer’

Kevin Durant, Team USA's scoring leader after three games, is coming off a season in which he led the NBA in scoring -- something Andre Iguodala believes we should get used to seeing. "Kevin Durant will be the NBA's all-time leading scorer when it's all said and done," Iguodala said emphatically. "He loves the game and has a knack for putting the ball in the basket." Through three NBA seasons Durant is 33 points shy of 6,000 for his career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the league's all-time leader with 38,387 points. Karl Malone is second with 36,928 points, and Michael Jordan is third with 32,292.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Kevin Durant is a straight scorer. Like George Gervin and Bernard King.

While he’s on the verge of becoming, perhaps, the NBA’s best player, KD will be hard pressed to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer.

First, Kareem was able to preserve his body, in part, because he was a post. The Skyhook’s game was also methodical and efficient. As a perimeter player, Durant uses greater energy to get his numbers.

Second, Kareem’s slighter frame wasn’t an issue because old school players weren’t so muscular. Durant is especially skinny and long, which may become an issue in today's physical NBA.

Finally, Kareem had a superb pass-first point guard in Magic Johnson. ‘Mr. No Look’ and 'The Architect of Showtime’ hooked Kareem up with easy hoops. Durant doesn’t have this luxury because Russell Westbrook, a good table-setter, is still developing as a distributor.

Durant will have a Hall of Fame career, however, he’s unlikely to replace Abdul-Jabbar as the game’s all-time greatest scorer.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Aug , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Team USA remains undefeated after thrashing Slovenia

The United States beat Slovenia 99-77 for its second lopsided victory in two games and Lithuania also went 2-0, while Angola and China bounced back from opening-day losses to win their first games at the basketball World Championship on Sunday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s some surprise at how Team USA has fared in international play so far.

After all, Stars and Stripes’ biggest names –Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and others- all said thanks, but no thanks to the FIBA World Championship.

However, this group of youngsters defend, play together, and work hard. They also have budding superstar Kevin Durant, who could soon emerge as the world’s premier player.

On Sunday morning, USA’s air-tight defense got them through a few rough moments, as they cruised to an easy victory over Slovenia. Durant had 22 points before sitting the entire fourth quarter.

--Oly Sandor.

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