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Sunday , May , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Bosh, James, or Wade shouldn’t get to pick Clippers’ next coach?

Usually in professional sports, the coach is selling the free agent player on his team as a potential destination. The Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to take a different approach. As the only team without a coach that doesn't appear to be looking, reports say that the Clippers are prepared to offer big-name free agents something in addition to the maximum contract: pick your own coach. That's right, the plan in Los Angeles might be to use the coaching vacancy as an additional draw to free agents like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Lebron James. They all know they will get the maximum salary, but where else can they pick their coach?


HoopsVibe Call: It's why the Clippers are the Clippers. And it's why they'll remain a league laughingstock.

Despite having talented players, coaches, and executives, Los Angeles' other team can't get their act together. Allowing star free agents like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and even Dwyane Wade to pick their next coach is another example of their lunacy.

Good organizations don't let the inmates - regardless of how talented Bosh, James, and Wade are - run the asylum. For instance, in San Antonio, Tim Duncan has always deferred to coach Gregg Popovich, which forces his teammates to listen to the veteran sideline boss.

Across town, Kobe Bryant, like it or not, follows Laker coach Phil Jackson -even though he oftens seems more like the duplicitous Machiavelli than the peaceful Zen-Master. And Michael Jordan also followed Jackson when they won six NBA Titles with the Chicago Bulls.

Having a player - regardless of how great he is - select their next coach makes that coach a subordinate. And this is a recipe for disaster. Of course, leave it to the Clippers, one of the worst organizations in pro sport, to make this blunder.

Should Bosh, James, or Wade get to pick the Clippers' next coach? Should any player get to pick his coach? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.     

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Thursday , May , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should LeBron James have a say in trades?

LeBron James has had a lot of power in Cleveland, according to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

Sources told Bucher that James vetoed trades he didn't like for the Cavaliers, while pushing other deals through that he thought would help the team.

Any team that signs LeBron will likely have to set a basis for how much power he'll have in the front office.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf never gave that type of power to Michael Jordan, so it's doubtful he'd give it to James.


After all, this creates an uncomfortable dynamic in the locker room. There's a fine line between the two-time MVP having a say in personnel matters and ushering out teammates he doesn't jive with -like former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden.
It's also a distraction. James, who again collapsed in the playoffs, should focus on basketball. Nothing else. The sooner this happens, the better off the two-time MVP and his team will be.
Finally, there's a reason Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and even Michael Jordan have/had little say in front office matters. Why should James, who hasn't yet won an NBA Title, be different?
Should James have a say in trades? Why? Why not?
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Monday , May , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Robin Lopez anger Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?


HoopsVibe's Thoughts: Seven Seconds Or Less is getting defensive.


Word is the Phoenix Suns are planning to start physical post Robin Lopez against the Los Angeles Lakers and finesse-four Pau Gasol in the Western Conference Finals.

Lopez, who is on the mend from injury, provides the Suns with their most physical presence since Raja Bell. Of course, a few years back, Bell made his bones against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the Western Conference playoffs. 

Will Lopez, an equally spirited player, get under the skin of the purple-and-gold like Bell?

Get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.


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Saturday , May , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Grant Hill to Guard Kobe Bryant in WCF

Bryant averaged 27.5 points against Phoenix this season on 54.4 percent shooting and is coming off a Utah sweep in which he scored at least 30 in each game. This is the point last year when he turned dominant, averaging 34.0 points against Denver in the conference finals and 32.4 in the NBA Finals vs. Orlando.

Step right up, Grant Hill. The Suns are expected to again turn to their best defensive player, although guard Jason Richardson defended Bryant the most this season. The decision to put Richardson on Portland's Andre Miller for Game 1 of the first round backfired when Miller dominated and Richardson struggled offensively. Freed of a defensive load, Richardson thrived the remainder of that series and the San Antonio series with Hill taking primary defensive targets Miller and Manu Ginobili.

"You just try to make a guy like that work," Hill, 37, said of Bryant, 31. "You've got to go in ready to compete and not be discouraged. He'll make shots even when there's defense.
Steve Nash’s Last Shot
Thursday , May , 13 , 2010 J.N.

Steve Nash’s Last Shot

A young kid entered war full of determination, grit, and gung ho. He doesn’t know much about anything since he sports the usual traits of youth – ignorance, naïveté, and innocence. Once this kid endures battle after battle, the fighting spirit gets worn down somewhere. The kid loses yet gets wiser with each step. He makes many mistakes. Some soldiers leave and disappear. The squadron is rebuilt with new warriors who mirror the kid before war. Some of them might be better and some will not.

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The Utah Jazz Just Can’t Beat Kobe’s Lakers
Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 J.N.

The Utah Jazz Just Can’t Beat Kobe’s Lakers

The Lakers outmuscled Deron Williams’ Jazz into submission by bringing out the brooms for a complete sweep. Laker fans are sitting pretty entering the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, which the Lakers should not have any problems against. The Jazz, however, are looking down a well that leads to an abyss. What’s next?

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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Wants Revenge on the Suns

It doesn’t matter to Kobe Bryant that three years have passed and he’s won a championship since then. He has a long memory. And just the mere mention of the Phoenix Suns brings a spark to his eyes.

The Los Angeles Lakers advanced to their third straight Western Conference finals by sweeping the Utah Jazz with a 111-96 victory on Monday night. Next up are the Phoenix Suns, whom the Lakers have beaten seven times in nine games since acquiring Pau Gasol. But that doesn’t matter to Bryant. When asked if he recalled that the Suns knocked the Lakers out of the postseason during their last two meetings in 2006 and ’07, Bryant’s eyes filled with disdain.

“What do you think? You already know,” Bryant said, staring through his questioner.
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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant Cracks Jokes about Cleveland, LeBron’s Lefty FT

He was amused by one line of questioning revolving around why LeBron James' sore right elbow was receiving so much attention when Bryant's whole body was banged up.

"[Because] it's Cleveland," Bryant cracked. "We have a couple more things to talk about in L.A."

Bryant elaborated his thoughts on the NBA's current back-to-back MVP.

"I've been injured pretty much the entire season, so I think everybody just kind of got used to me playing that way," Bryant said. "He hasn't really had any injury all year long, so this was really like his first injury of the year and it comes at the moment of the playoffs when it's crucial for them so I think there's a lot of attention around it."

It's known around the team that Bryant has been engaged in a left-handed shooting competition with Pau Gasol all season long, so he was asked about the southpaw free-throw attempt that James took in the first round against Chicago.

"It looked nasty," Bryant said. "My form's more like Chris Mullin ... I would have called a timeout [if my shooting elbow was hurting me]." 


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Monday , May , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest and Phil Jackson Make up after Twitter Incident

After the game, Kobe Bryant was questioned about the "situation" between Artest and Jackson and responded, "What situation? Is that a joke? Seriously?"

"We all found it kind of funny," Bryant said. "It's not a big deal at all. Not even a whisper. It's entertaining."

The minor incident has not affected the relationship between Jackson and Artest.

"I can't describe him in words, that's for sure," Jackson said with a smile. "I've often said he's very naïve. He's a babe in the woods so to speak in a lot of terms as far as taking things literally, understanding the situation. But we hold him dear to our hearts."

On Friday after the story was reported, Artest wrote on his Twitter feed @RONARTESTCOM again, however.

The first Tweet read: "So many media tried to blow up the comments. Lol Me and Phil are it's just healthier being direct to me rather than media first." He posted several other times before wrapping up his thoughts on the subject with a two-part Tweet.


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Friday , May , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe, Lamar: Ron Should Have Been in All-Defensive Team

Artest's teammates came to the support of the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2003-04.

Bryant said he was "extremely" surprised when Artest's name wasn't announced, and there was "no question" the Lakers starting small forward in his first season with L.A. should have received the defensive honor.

"Total bull----, plain and simple," Bryant said.

Lamar Odom, who has seen Artest lock up opponents since they played AAU basketball as children in Queens, New York, said Artest should be an automatic honoree when it comes to defense.

"I'm always surprised when he's not on it," Odom said. "He should be put on it every year. He's one guy you should kind of stamp down for that. I don't know who plays better defense, especially at the forward position. ... I wish the players picked." 


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Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

NBA All-Defensive Team Announced

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, winner of the 2009-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors, and guard Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics headline the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the NBA announced Wednesday.

By totaling 57 points overall, including 28 First Team votes, Howard edged Rondo (50 points overall and 23 First Team votes) as the leading vote-getter.

Also selected to the All-Defensive First Team are forward LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (45 points), Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (34 points) and Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace (30 points).
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Thursday , Apr , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Asked to Guard Russell Westbrook

It was Kobe Bryant's idea to swap defensive assignments for Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryant guarded Russell Westbrook instead of Thabo Sefolosha. Derek Fisher checked Sefolosha. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Bryant approached him and said, "I'd like to guard Westbrook." Jackson added: "It takes a much higher activity level (to guard Westbrook). It's every play. There's no time off on defense. It told me what his determination was, whether his knee was better or not (I don't know)." Bryant has been troubled for months by injuries to his right index finger, left ankle and right knee.

Westbrook scored 15 points on 4-for-13 shooting in Game 5.

"I enjoy the challenge," Bryant said of checking Westbrook. "He's been playing sensational, and if we're going to be eliminated I don't want to go into the summer thinking I could've done something about it, so i accepted the challenge." 


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Thursday , Apr , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Sells More Jerseys than LeBron in ’09-’10

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant once again tops the NBA’s list of most popular jerseys, where he has reigned as No. 1 since the start of the 2008-09 season. The list is based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and on NBAStore.com since the start of the 2009-10 NBA season through April 2010. Both stores are having record sales years with a combined increase of 20 percent over last year.

Thirteen players competing in the 2010 Playoffs appear on this year’s list. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James remains No. 2 and the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett climbed one spot from last year to No. 3. Chicago Bulls sophomore Derrick Rose continues to make a name for himself, coming in at No. 4, while the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard rounds out the top 5. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant debuts in the top 10 for the first time, landing at No. 9, while the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony moves from No. 15 to No. 10.
Can Oklahoma City Thunder really upset Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?
Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Can Oklahoma City Thunder really upset Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?

The Quick Hit: It was supposed to be case of master versus student. It has become a case of student challenging master.

Quite simply, the Los Angeles Lakers, with all their star power and glitz, were expected to handle the talented but inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder. After all, the Lakers had that Larry O’Brien swagger; the Thunder were unproven upstarts.

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Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC
Sunday , Apr , 18 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC

I'll be taking quick notes as I watch the game here. Feel free to drop in your comments below. They update in real time.

- What is Andrew Bynum drinking? A pre-game shot shows him chugging a foaming red liquid from a water bottle.

- OKC tosses the ball to Durant for the first play.  He dribbles around for a few seconds before tossing up an awkward brick. Bad opening.

- Pau connects on a shot with so much arc the ball came down with snow on it.

- That red stuff is obviously working for Bynum, who connects on his first attempt.

- Durant botches an open layup. Let's hope that's a fumble and not a sign of the pressure getting to him.

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All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes
Saturday , Apr , 17 , 2010 Oly Sandor

All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes

The Quick Hit: For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Orlando Magic, it’s all or nothing.

The all is having Commissioner David Stern hand over the Larry O’Brien trophy in two months and pronounce them world champions in a champagne soaked ceremony.

Only the all will do. Only the all will satisfy their demanding fan base. Only the all will satisfy their demanding owners, who have taken on multi-million dollar luxury tax payments for this precise moment.

While nothing, or falling short of an NBA Title, will force Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Orlando to make wholesale changes this off-season. Right or wrong, fair or not, these are the stakes when playing for a contender.

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Monday , Apr , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: I Want to Sharpen up in Last Two Games

Kobe Bryant won't be missing any more games this season to rest his legs and swollen right knee. He plans on playing when the Lakers close the regular season with a back-to-back Tuesday against Sacramento and Wednesday against the Clippers to "sharpen up" and said "we want to win both of these games."

Bryant's shot could certainly use a little sharpening. Bryant shot just 8-for-23 on Sunday after sitting out the Lakers last two games in hopes of getting back the lift in his legs that was lacking and affecting the trajectory of his attempts. Bryant's shot total in the last three games he's played in is an alarming 21-for-70 (30 percent). 


While his final line didn't reflect it, Bryant said the time off made a difference, in his limbs at least, but straddled the line when rest leads to rust.

"It feels pretty good," Bryant said. "It's a little rusty, a little stiff from not playing, not being active. I'll be fine. That's why it's important to get out there and play a little bit, loosen up the joints a little bit . . . It's OK. It feels strong."


The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos
Sunday , Apr , 11 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos

You wouldn't believe the number of inky abominations etched into the pelts of pro ballers.  I'd originally planned a simple list of the league's ten worst tats, but when my dishonourable mention section hit double digits I realised I'd need to expand the scope of the project a little.  Even when I elongated the list to twenty-five terrible tattoos, I still found that I had to exclude some real atrocities.  In the end it took a full fifty spots to showcase the shittiest skin art in the L.

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The NBA’s Worst Tattoos: 10-1
Saturday , Apr , 10 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

The NBA’s Worst Tattoos: 10-1

If you're finding this feature for the first time, you might want to check out the previous parts to warm up.  We don't want you straining an eyeball.

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 50-41

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 40-31

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 30-21

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 20-11

The NBA's Worst Tattoos: 10-1

10. Kobe Bryant's "Vanessa" Tattoo

So, to recap, Kobe's biceps is adorned with a crown, butterflies, angel wings, Vanessa's hair and Vanessa's name.  I can't help but feel he could have saved some space by simply stamping the word "Sorry!" on his arm and calling it quits.

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Wednesday , Apr , 07 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Lakers?

Gregg Popovich, the brutally honest and sometimes abrasive coach of the San Antonio Spurs, summed up what every team in the Western Conference was thinking when he told us all that no one wanted to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. In doing so, he broke one of the unwritten rules of sports: Never let your opponent know you're afraid of them. You can be afraid and they can know you're afraid, but you can't actually say it. Once you do, they have an advantage over you. They don't only know that they're better than you, they know that you know they're better than you. And at that point, they're free to impose their will upon you and send you home in four or five games.

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