kobe-bryant
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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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LeBron James in 2011 NBA Finals. Too many excuses. Too much hate?
Saturday , Jun , 11 , 2011 J.N.

LeBron James in 2011 NBA Finals. Too many excuses. Too much hate?

Hey. Who is tired of this? People want us to feel sorry for a guy who is making $90+ million, Nike cash, and other endorsement money? Say what? Why do they have to resort writing pieces basically implying “Hey he is not that bad.” Wow. Now people are defending him – the same people who were bashing him prior to the 2010-2011 season.  It’s too bad. So we’re just going to sweep the one hour Decision extravaganza complete with jersey photo shops under the rug?

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NBA Legends who are not the GOAT
Saturday , Jun , 04 , 2011 J.N.

NBA Legends who are not the GOAT

This comes up every playoff time involving great active players such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James right now in 2011. Whenever one of them goes deep in a playoff run putting up good statistics and highlight plays, the media and former players gas these guys up. The method is definitely a “prisoner of the moment” type thing. Why do you guys do it? There is a lot of front running and some trolling. All good though. I’m ready. We’re ready. My body is ready. Let’s do this. Remember that the standards are extremely high and strict. These legends have great accomplishments. However, further scrutiny causes them not be the ultimate GOAT.

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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.

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Monday , May , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jim Buss: We should have consulted Kobe about hiring Mike Brown

Lakers owner Jim Buss expressed regret that Kobe Bryant was not consulted about the hiring of Mike Brown. "Looking back on it, we should have contacted Kobe," Buss says. "Kobe said it was management's job to pick a coach. He just said, 'Defense first.' That's what we were doing, but we should have reached out to him.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s one thing not to consult Kobe Bryant about hiring Mike Brown as coach. It’s another thing to admit as much publicly.

There’s no reason for the Buss clan, who own the Los Angeles Lakers, to give interviews about hiring a new sideline boss and whether their superstar, Bryant, was involved.

There’s also no reason to admit fault in not involving Bryant. He's their employee. And, on paper, Brown meets Bryant’s criteria perfectly. 

So why not keep this all in-house? What possible good can come from letting the press know this?

Now they get to do what they love most: speculate. This is especially appealing because it involves the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA’s glamour franchise.

And Brown’s already tough job just got tougher.

--Oly Sandor.

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



Be real – 2011 Kobe’s Lakers are in trouble even with Mike Brown.
Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 J.N.

Be real – 2011 Kobe’s Lakers are in trouble even with Mike Brown.

Laker haters unite! This is your time. Hate hate hate hate! Did anyone peep Sugar Shane Mosley’s wife during the Pacquiao fight? Johnny Gill’s song was all I heard in my mind “My My My You sure look good tonight.” She sure was. Her name is Bella Gonzalez. She was screaming passionately at Sugar Shane to fight. I know Laker fans were screaming at the Lakers to fight just like her. Oy dios mios! I still haven’t gotten over the sight of her. Wow!

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The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.
Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 J.N.

The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.

Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls have been eliminated from the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of the Wade/LeBron-Bosh Miami Heat, 4-1. Chi-Town is fighting through some pain right now, but there shouldn’t be any. At the beginning of the season, there were not many people on the Bulls’ bandwagon. The hype grew as the wins piled up. The bandwagon grew yet many were not convinced. Rose won MVP and that’s when all hell broke loose. Tom Thibodeau received Coach of the Year. Beating Indiana and Atlanta were good. However, facing Miami caused the bandwagon to break. People keep saying that getting an upgrade at the shooting guard position over Keith Bogans is all that is needed to get the Bulls over the top to win it all.

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Monday , May , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Joakim Noah yells anti-gay slur at Heat fan

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Joakim Noah has to be better than this.

The Chicago Bulls post screamed an anti-gay slur at Miami Heat fans after getting into foul trouble in the first half.

To be fair, Noah apologized, saying he got ‘caught up’. He seemed genuine, but the NBA will levy a massive fine –and rightfully so.

Noah can’t yell at fans. And Noah can’t yell anti-gay slurs at fans.

Not after Kobe Bryant’s slip-up. Not after a Phoenix Suns executive recently came out. Not with the league running public service announcements denouncing homophobia at the Heat-Bulls game.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on Noah in the comment box below. 


--Oly Sandor.

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

Farewell 1990s Basketball.
Saturday , May , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Farewell 1990s Basketball.

Tough to hear, but it is time. The stars, for anyone 26 years or older, drafted from the 1990s are fading away. Let’s use the present to say our goodbyes.   Father time usually corresponds with age and decline in play. This is it. We have been following these guys since middle school. Some of you guys must have been following them since elementary days. Do not feel old. Age is merely a number. Longevity in anything is actually a state of mind, but not in sports. For anyone living under a rock, Macho Man just died. With that said, let's appreciate these players while they are still alive.

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Saturday , May , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

In defence of Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook

Westbrook, the Thunder's most misunderstood, puzzling or overanalyzed player, depending on your perspective, wouldn't flame the scrutiny on coach Scott Brooks' decision not to play him a single second of the fourth quarter in OKC's Game 2 win over Dallas on Thursday. The play of the Thunder's second-best player has been publicly picked apart throughout the postseason. Does he shoot too much, take bad shots and not pass enough?

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Russell Westbrook has a giant bulls-eye on his back.

The critics allege the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard shoots too much, knocks heads with Coach Scott Brooks, and wants to establish himself at the expense of his team.

The critics argue Westbrook should be the Thunder’s third option, with superstar Kevin Durant and super-sub James Harden as primary scorers.

Perhaps this is fair. Perhaps, the Thunder would be better with Westbrook using his athleticism to set-the-table for teammates and averaging a balanced 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The criticism is, to an extent, unfair. Especially since the Thunder won game two of the Western Conference Finals in Dallas. 

Sure, Brooks sat Westbrook for the entire fourth quarter. Sure, the Thunder won in spite of Westbrook, not because of him.

They still won, though. They still achieved a split on the road. And they have home-court advantage.

The world isn't ending. Westbrook isn’t the devil. He’s just a 22-year old point guard, who sometimes struggles with when to pass and shoot.

Others have had issues with decision making. Like Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons. Like Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. And like Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls.

By the way, these three figured 'it' out and won a combined 13 NBA championships.

Don’t get it twisted: Westbrook is not the next Zeke, Kobe, or MJ. It takes time for players, specifically point guards, to figure ‘it’ out.

Take Chauncey Billups. Before he became Mr. Big Shot with the Detroit Pistons, Billups was a nomad, playing on four teams between 1997 and 2002.

Critics said he lacked a position, couldn’t involve teammates and was a bust. Billups suddenly figured 'it out. Over the last ten years, he has won an NBA championship, been a Finals MVP, and made regular appearances in the Conference Finals.

Bottom line: Billups has had an excellent career. And he isn’t done. Like Westbrook, he needed time. Westbrook, at this age, is mch further along than Billups.

Critics need to appreciate Westbrook for what he is and can do. Soon enough, he’ll figure ‘it’ out. Then opponents will have to watch out.

--Oly Sandor.

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

All-NBA Teams Announced; Let The Second Guessing Begin
Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Paul Eide

All-NBA Teams Announced; Let The Second Guessing Begin

 

On the first team, the only unanimous player selected by all 119 media writers and broadcasters was LeBron James. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard each received 118 votes, each shunned by one short sighted voter. D Rose is good enough to win the MVP but not be a unanimous selection? Must’ve been a Hawks or Pacers fan.
 
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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mavericks complete sweep, what’s next for Kobe, Pau, and Lakers?

Jason Terry (32 points) nails nine 3-pointers and his teammates add 11 more as the Mavericks advance to the conference finals with a 122-86 thumping of the Lakers.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Kings are dead. The Kings are dead. Fourth quarter cheap shots aside, they went out with a whimper. Not a bang.

The Dallas Mavericks blew out the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference semi-finals, sweeping the two-time defending champions out of the playoffs.

And it wasn’t close. The Mavericks won by 36 points. Team Cuban has to be favoured to emerge from the west.

Back to the soap opera known as the Lakers. This is supposedly Phil Jackson’s final game on the sideline. The Zen-Master is done, and he’ll retreat to his ranch in Montana, cabin in Belize, house boat in Alaska, or some other remote location for 'introspection'.

What about Pau Gasol? The Spanish post has been taking criticism from fans, TMZ, and, worst of all, the infamous and notorious Snoop Dogg. Something has to give.

There are questions about Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, and the Lakers’ bench. Andrew Bynum may be dangled as trade bait to land a certain post from the Orlando Magic, who is set to be a free agent in 2012.

Either way, changes are coming. Only Kobe Bryant is safe.

--Oly Sandor.

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

W’Sup with the Lakers in the playoffs?
Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 J.N.

W’Sup with the Lakers in the playoffs?

I’m sitting here listening to Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack.” Peep his pimp hand in the music video as he crushes it in front of his ex. That is some grimy ass stuff. Nuff said. If I ever was a wrestler, that is probably my entrance song. Mark Morrison looks like a cross between Grace Jones and DMX, though. The song has nothing to do with Pau and Kobe. Sometimes, it is nice to go back to simpler times. In 2011 Laker land, things are complicated.

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