kobe-bryant
Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT
Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT

This can be discussed even during a lockout. Dirk and the Mavs are still riding high from their hard earned 2011 NBA title. They swept Kobe’s Lakers, beat Durant/Westbrook Thunder, and then took out the Miami Heat. The team is battle tested especially with the grand fail against the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 playoffs. The Mavs lost a lot with a solid roster in the past. They overcame all of that in 2011.What’s next? Repeat. Duh. 

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Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: does Besiktas care if Kobe signs?

Turkish club Besiktas is in talks with Kobe Bryant's representatives about the possibility of the Los Angeles Lakers' star playing in Turkey during the NBA lockout. "It is a fact that Kobe Bryant's managers have contacted us," coach Ergin Ataman said Thursday, a week after Besiktas signed New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talk is cheap –except if your union needs leverage for the lockout or you’re a second-rate European squad looking to improve your image.
 
Then, talk is good –real good.
 
Sure, Turkish club Besiktas and superstar Kobe Bryant are talking about a contract for 2011-12 in case the NBA lockout isn`t resolved.
 
Why would Bryant, the game’s greatest star, uproot his family, risk his career, and put up with second-class treatment from a second-rate pro’ team?
 
Besiktas has more issues than a celeb` on Dr. Phil’s Celebrity Rehab. Their soccer squad is in a match-fixing scandal; reports indicate their finances are frozen; a corporate sponsor had to guarantee Deron Williams $5 million pact.
 
Well, Bryant is doing his union brothers a solid by playing overseas and showing the owners the players have options. If something comes of his flirting with Besiktas, so be it. If not, he keeps touring Asia while negotiations on the new CBA continue.

For Besiktas, this is about headlines. They already shocked the basketball world with the signing of Williams, arguably the best point guard in the NBA.
 
Now those same pundits are wondering if ‘The King’ (sorry LeBron) will really cross the Atlantic and ply his trade on the crossroads of Europe and Asia for the princely sum of $1,000 000 per month.

Besiktas can’t buy this publicity. Blogs, print writers, radio hosts, and TV analysts are linking them to Bryant. They`re the buzz of basketball.
 
So Besiktas doesn`t care if Bryant signs. They`ve already won.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Did Brian Shaw deserve better from Jim Buss and Lakers?

“I wasn’t really told anything,” said Shaw, who had the public backing of players Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, among others, to take over for Jackson. “Unfortunately, I found about not getting the job and who was hired for the job on ESPN. I didn’t really talk to anyone for about three weeks after that.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not that he was passed over to replace Phil Jackson as head coach. And it’s not that his contract as an assistant coach wasn’t renewed.

It’s how the Los Angeles Lakers passed over and decided against renewing Brian Shaw, who won five championships in twelve seasons with the NBA’s glamour club.

Shaw discovered his fate from the media -while watching ESPN. No courtesy call.  No email. No facebook poke. No myspace message.

Nothing at all; in fact, Shaw didn't hear from the purple-and-gold for three weeks after the Brown hiring.

To review: last month, the Lakers hired Mike Brown, a former Coach of the Year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, to take over for Zen-Master Phil.

Fair enough.

Management/ownership felt the need to switch things up after the team’s mixed regular season and disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs.

Management/ownership also felt Brown should get to pick his assistant coaches. Brown, for any number of reasons, decided against keeping Shaw.

Again, fair enough.

There is, however, no justification for not telling Shaw in a timely manner. This reflects on one person: Jim Buss.

The owner’s son always had personal issues with Jackson and his allies within the organization –which includes Jim Buss’ own sister Jeanie, Shaw, and even superstar Kobe Bryant.

Of course, Jim Buss is now running the Lakers and wants to put his stamp on things. So Shaw –Jackson's loyal right hand and Robert Duvall like consigliore – was mistreated due to personal politics.

Such pettiness is never good. And such pettiness reflects on the sad-state of the Lakers. Perhaps there's reason to worry in Hollywood.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant bluffing about Europe or China?

“The one thing about basketball is it’s a global sport now, so you can play anywhere you want to.

“As far as myself, I just train. I just train and be prepared for anybody that calls, whether the NBA starts again or a team in Europe or a team here in China decides to call, then I’ll be ready…. (Kobe Bryant).

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They both have their bluffs.

Right now, the NBA is locked-out, which means owners and players are doing anything and everything to gain leverage when negotiations begin.

Take the owners. They’re crying poor and claiming incredible losses. And they’re threatening to shut-down the season unless the players accept some form of a hard cap.

Will 30 billionaires really shut-down the NBA for 2011-12? Will they kill the momentum the league gained in 2010-11?

Well, this is the owners’ bluff. This is the card Commissioner Stern, Mark Cuban, and Michael Jordan have. Of course, the players have their bluff, too.

NBA superstars, like Kobe Bryant, are threatening to take their talent abroad. Possible destinations: Europe and China. Will Bryant, who is used to first-class treatment, really ride busses, stay in second-rate hotels, and deal with mediocre facilities just to prove a point?

Well, this is the players' bluff. Bryant and his brethren are making sure the owners know they have options. Even if those options don't appear especially attractive.

--Oly Sandor

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Can Derrick Rose repeat MVP?
Sunday , Jul , 17 , 2011 J.N.

Can Derrick Rose repeat MVP?

The big network has already raised the question and shot it down without much debate. Can Derrick Rose repeat as the league MVP in the new season after the lockout? Can the kid become the third point guard to do it? How? News flash – He earned the 2010-2011 MVP when everyone wrote him off. You guys are writing him off again? I get it. The 2011 playoffs were bad for him during the fourth quarter. He didn’t choke. Rose just did not shoot well.

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Friday , Jul , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kobe Bryant World Tour lands in South Korea

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: First, it was ‘White Mamba’. Then came ‘Bow Wow’, now known as ‘little fella’ and/or ‘midget’. Yesterday was The Thrilla N’ Manila.

Today, Kobe Bryant arrived in South Korea, where he did the 'Nike-thing' and found another sacrificial lamb to manhandle in one-on-one.

Watch the video footage and get at us with thoughts on the latest stop in the Bryant World Tour.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kobe Bryant Wows with ‘Thrilla in Manila’ exhibition

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Recently, Kobe Bryant gave us his version of the 'Thrilla in Manila'.

Bryant, while touring his home-away-from-home, pulled his sneakers out the old gym bag and surprised the Phillippines by playing in an exhibition friendly.

Watch the video -it might be the only basketball we see for some time- and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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

The players are leaving.
Thursday , Jul , 14 , 2011 J.N.

The players are leaving.

It’s not a mass exodus although notable players are taking off to become international ballers. As this is happening, some fans were saying that the NBA is in better shape than the NFL. Uh how so? Are you oblivious? The NFL is about to reach an agreement to end the lockout. Where is the NBA? I’m not even sure if they are even negotiating right now. The players and owners are too far apart. There are some owners against owners. As a result, the players are leaving. 

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Sunday , Jul , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams on Kobe Bryant: ‘He’s The Man’ in China

"I see him going to China or somewhere," said Williams, who teamed with Bryant to help the U.S. win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "He's big in China. I was over there with him in Beijing. He's 'The Man' over there."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Deron Williams is right. It's China. Not Italy, Spain, Greece, or Turkey.

For personal and professional reasons, Kobe Bryant will head to China –if he plays basketball during the NBA lockout.

The lockout is an opportunity for basketball's greatest star and the world's greatest economy to further their love-money relationship. Bryant considers China his second home, while China considers Bryant one of their own, so they buy everything his name is on.

Bryant doesn't have these opportunities in Europe. Sure, he's a superstar but Greece, Italy, and Spain are on the verge of bankruptcy, so club owners and fans can't throw Euros at him.

Bryant expects five-star hotels, luxury cars, and private planes. The Chinese will give Bryant the first-class treatment he is used to. European owners, during strong economic times, are known for skimping on accommodation, buses, and flights.

What will European owners do when the European Union and World Bank are scheming on bailouts?

Bottom line: Bryant will pick China over Europe. In fact, it seems he already has.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carmelo, Kobe, and Amar’e to pass on Europe?

With Nets superstar Deron Williams breaking the ice by agreeing to terms to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout lasts for a long time, will Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony follow suit? Highly doubtful.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There will not be a mass exodus of NBA superstars to Europe.

For a variety of reasons, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and/or Amar’e Stoudemire won’t follow Deron Williams to exotic locations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, and Italy.

This trio may listen to offers. Their people may publicly express interest in Europe. And we -the media and fans- will eat it up because there’s nothing to discuss during the lockout.

Bottom line: few, if any, superstars will join Williams.

These high-profile athletes need insurance against injuries. This isn’t cheap, and would negate much of the salary they earned for playing.

In some cases, the risk is too great. Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, has already said his client head won't risk the remaining $80 million on his NBA contract with the New York Knicks for a few games abroad.  

Italy, Spain, Greece, and/or Portugal are on the verge of bankruptcy, and need economic help from the European Union. Can these countries afford NBA superstars? And will their leveraged owners honor these big-ticket contracts?

Expect Kobe Bryant to instead head east –as in the Far East. Bryant will apparently headline a tour to basketball-mad China, where he'll market his brand, shoes, and everything else Kobe-related.

Superstars will use Europe to gain leverage in negotiations during the lockout. The game's biggest names will be reluctant to follow Williams overseas.

--Oly Sandor.

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

1996 NBA Draft; Best First Round Ever?
Thursday , Jul , 07 , 2011 Paul Eide

1996 NBA Draft; Best First Round Ever?

 

The thing I remember most about this draft, particularly when draft order was determined during the Draft Lottery, was how excited 76ers President Pat Croce got when it was announced the Sixers would get the number one pick. His personality, coupled with the success of the franchise over the next five years, basically spawned an entire reality TV career for him for the next several years.
 
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Wednesday , Jul , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Kobe more arrogant than LeBron?

“Kobe is super arrogant but everybody loves him. To me, Kobe is more arrogant (than LeBron James).”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You got to love today’s NBA.

Only in this era could a third stringer win a championship and feel he has the ‘juice’ to call out an all-time great.

Isn’t that right Ian Mahinmi?

The Frenchman, who played behind Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood on the 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks, recently declared that Kobe Bryant is the most arrogant player in the NBA.

Forget LeBron. Forget D-Wade. Forget the Three Kings. Forget Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. According to Mahinmi, it’s Kobe.

This is hardly a surprise. Bryant is supremely confident. Always has been, too.

He was this way when plying his craft as a prep-to-pro star at Lower Merion in Philadelphia.

He was this way when Del Harris sat him as a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers.

And he was this way when jostling with Shaquille O’Neal and Phil Jackson for lead dog status with the champion Lakers.

Confidence, or arrogance, has made Bryant who he is. He won’t change, either.

Something that has changed: a part-time player on a championship squad calling out a once-in-a-generation superstar.

Scott Hastings never said a thing about Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, or Magic Johnson when his Detroit Pistons won back-to-back titles. Same with Eric Riley when the Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks in the 1994 finals. And Sean Marks was silent when the San Antonio Spurs captured the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2006.

Even Josh Powell, a reserve with the glamorous L.A. Lakers, knew to stay silent when the purple-and-gold were champions in 2009 and 2010.

They knew their role. They knew their place. Mahinmi does not.

To be fair, Mahinmi had a slightly greater impact than the above players, serving as an energy reserve for Rick Carlisle and the Mavs’.

Still, Mahinmi should stay silent. Right now, he, not Bryant, looks arrogant.   

--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. 

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What if the 2011-2012 season is cancelled?
Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 J.N.

What if the 2011-2012 season is cancelled?

There is a possibility that this might happen. Right now, things look grim. People are trying to remain hopeful. This is not a doom piece, but I usually go about expecting the worst out of everything. That’s life because when things go right, there is nothing to complain about. With that in mind, let’s pretend that the season is done. It’s over. Now what? The last lockout back in 1998 had the NBA miss 32 games. The league lost a lot of fans. 

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Saturday , Jul , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant to tour China during lockout?

Kobe Bryant may take his talents to China during the NBA's lockout. There are preliminary talks about a basketball tour to China this summer — and perhaps beyond — in which the Lakers superstar, who has called China a "home away from home" and has an enormous following there, would be the headliner with several other NBA stars forming two or three barnstorming teams.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: China is Kobe Bryant’s home-away-from-home. And with the NBA in lockout mode, Bryant plans on spending time in his second favourite country.

However, his visit will be both business and pleasure.

Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, is planning a tour of China, which would include exhibition matches with various pro’ players.

Don’t get it twisted, this is about branding. Bryant, like Stephon Marbury, realizes China is the world’s most lucrative market. A tour would help him sell anything and everything to a basketball mad market.

While the NBA is on hiatus, the business of basketball will clearly continue.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jason Kidd looking at the ‘bright side’ of lockout

There has been some talk among older players around the NBA that an extended lockout could nudge them into early retirement. But for 38-year-old Jason Kidd, coming off a championship with the Mavericks, a lockout doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Jason Kidd must be a Monty Python fan because he's looking at the 'bright side' of the lockout.

Kidd thinks a lockout shortened season would be to his advantage. And he’s right.
 
For instance, a 50 game season would mean less wear-and-tear, which would preserve Kidd for when the Dallas Mavericks attempt to defend their championship.

But Kidd isn’t alone. Other veterans have the same plan.

A short season would let Kobe Bryant rest, recuperate, and heal. And then he may return as the game’s best player.
 
So Kidd will have to find the 'bright side' in facing a re-energized Bryant.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Jun , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Fear not Laker-nation: Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant are cool

Despite Kobe Bryant's silence, people close to both sides say Coach Mike Brown has won over his new star in two face-to-face meetings. Their first was May 31 at Bryant's home in Newport Beach, on Brown's way to his news conference in downtown Los Angeles . . . more or less.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In this edition of How The Purple-and Gold Turn, Laker-nation is overreacting to Kobe Bryant's supposed refusal to endorse Mike Brown as coach. 

There are many ludicrous theories floating around Hollywood. Like ...

What does Bryant's silence mean? Does Bryant not like Brown? Does he feel long-time coach Phil Jackson was forced out? Or, does he feel disrespected because ownership didn’t consult him on hiring Brown?

Well, Laker-nation would be better off considering the facts: Bryant and Brown have met. Twice, in fact.

Sure, Bryant might have preferred veteran assistant Brian Shaw, who he knows and has a relationship with. And sure, he probably feels slighted by management not asking his opinion on the process.

However, tension will always exist between Bryant and ownership because of his 2007 trade demands.

Brown will win Bryant over.  He’ll hold players accountable, especially on the defensive end. This was lost in 2011 under Zen-Master Phil.

Bryant’s silence might stem from embarrassment. His Lakers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. He probably prefers to focus on the upcoming season rather than fuel-the-fire on Brown.

So Laker-nation should relax. All is well between superstar and new coach. For now.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Should Kobe and Lakers pray for work stoppage?

You're not going to run as fast. You're not going to jump as high. You have to pick your moments. The great example when he picked his moment was the playoff game when he went down the middle and dunked, the one he had agains New Orleans center Emeka Okafor] in Game 5 of the first-round series. That was checkmate. He's a warrior and understands the game. All players have injuries. It's part of it and how he can manage it. He's been doing a good job with that. Nobody is going to run and jump [like] when they were 18 or 19. It's impossible for people to think that. As long as he's enjoying the game and keeps the two seven-footers [Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum], I still think he has three, four or five more years to play at a high level.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A work stoppage may be best for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, I said it. Sure, a dispute over money between millionaire players and billion owners is disgusting. And sadly, the season may get cancelled.

A work stoppage would allow Kobe Bryant to get some much-needed rest. His arthritic knee needs time. Same will the bumps, bruises, tears, and strains he’s accumulated over his long and distinguished career.

A season off will let Bryant return as the game’s top player, a title he lost after his Lakers disappointing loss to the world champion Mavericks.  And those 'three, four, five years' of great play could become longer. 

There’s a parallel to Bryant’s situation down the road in Orange County, California.

In 2004, NHL star Teemu Selanne was considering ending his career due to a shattered knee. Selanne, who notched a remarkable 70 goals as a rookie, was coming off a 16 goal campaign with the Colorado Avalanche.

Like Bryant, his knee had robbed him of all explosiveness. The grind of being a pro athlete had taken its toll.

Then the NHL lockout hit. The 2004-05 season never happened. Rather than ply his trade in Europe, Selanne took a prolonged break.

He returned better than ever. Selanne has posted impressive scoring numbers ever since and notches clutch goals for the Anaheim Ducks. Most importantly, he won a Stanley Cup. All while pushing 40 years of age.

Perhaps a work stoppage would be best for the Lakers and Bryant.

--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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