New reports are saying that the Lakers front office has told ESPN that they are looking to bring either Carmelo Anthony or Lebron James to Hollywood in 2014.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: The Lakers have a lot of rebuilding to do, and will need to make a big move in 2014.
Kobe Bryant takes on a 2-year old shooting and doesn't win.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I know it's only for fun and I know it means nothing, but you know Michael Jordan would never have lost to that kid.
32 years ago today, Dr. J was king.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, making him the only player to win MVP honors in both the NBA and the ABA.
To this day, only a handful of players have revolutionized the entire game, not just the NBA, the way Dr. J did. And not just in terms of on the court success, of which he had plenty, but in terms of personal style. Dr. J was the alpha male of his era and even if you knew nothing about basketball, just seeing the way he floated across the court, told you he was the man everyone else wanted to be.
Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards, and three scoring titles with the ABA's Virginia Squires and New York Nets (now the NBA's Brooklyn Nets) and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. He is the fifth-highest scorer in professional basketball history with 30,026 points (NBA and ABA combined).
And he wasn't just a finesse scoring type of player- Dr J was mean and reflected the era in which he played. Case in point, his fight with Larry Bird:
Erving was inducted in 1993 into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1994, Erving was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the 40 most important athletes of all time.
For crying out loud, the term "slam" dunk was coined to describe the way Erving attacked the rim. Before him, dunking was a practice usually among big men to show their dominance, strength and physicality. There was no art or style to it. The dunk was judged by many as style over substance and unsportsmanlike. Erving, however, changed that misconception and turned the dunk into the most exciting, expressive shot in the game. The "slam dunk" became an art form and came to help popularize the sport.
With no Dr. J, there would be no Michael Jordan, no Charles Barkley, no Kobe, and certainly no LeBron James.Read More
Kobe Bryant has been all over Twitter since he joined a few months back, and on Tuesday, decided to tweet a pretty graphic image of his achilles surgery from a month ago.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: If you get a little queesy, you might not want to look at this picture. We warned you.
The NBA Finals are where new stars are born and new styles are formed.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: An entire year of league history is compressed into and remembered by the outcome of the NBA Finals.
2009-2010 LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics - 7 Games
The NBA needed this Finals from a business standpoint as much as anything else. Interest in the game was waining and the league was struggling financially. So what was the best recipe to get the league to be relevant and exciting again? A classic match-up between the Lakers and Celtics, which the Lakers won.
1993-1994 Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks- 7 Games
This was as grueling an NBA Finals in history. Both teams were rugged, relied on tough defense and games were low scoring. Every possession was hotly contested and featured even personnel match-ups across the board, most notably reigning MVP Hakeem Olajuwon versus Patrick Ewing. The Rockets prevailed and won back to back titles, starting with this one.
1987-1988 LA Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons - 7 Games
The Lakers won this series in the ultimate stylistic clash between the finesse "Showtime" Lakers and the physical, brutish Pistons. Between 1980-1989 the Lakers won five titles, including this series versus the Pistons.This series represented a shift in NBA style of play. Even though the Lakers won and continued their dominance in this series, the Pistons swept the Finals the following season against the Lakers and eventually won two and a row, giving birth to the "Bad Boys" and their imposing style, a style that would be picked up and empolyed by NBA teams moving forward.
1979-1980 LA Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 6 Games
This series was all about the emergence of Magic Johnson. Magic changed the NBA game forever as the Lakers "Showtime" style was born. Instead of plodding half court sets that had been the norm, the Lakers relied on the transition game and became the most dominant team of the era, changing the entire direction of the league.
1973-1974 Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks - 7 Games
This series was littered with several future NBA Hall of Fame players who not only evolved their respective positions, but brought the game to a new level. The Bucks featured Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, while the Celtics had Dave Cowens and John Havlicek. Abdul-Jabbar was so dominant the Celtics frequently triple teamed him when he got the ball. The strategy paid off as the C's prevailed in seven games.Read More
While the Lakers were battling the Spurs on the court in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs on Sunday, Kobe Bryant was playing Twitter-coach from his Orange County pad.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: It was pretty obvious in the post game press conference that Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni wasn't a fan of Kobe's tweets. Wonder how Phil would've handled it?
Of all the drama surrounding the Lakers this season, this is the final act.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: A fitting end to one of the worst Laker seasons in history.
Currently, the Lakers are in possession of the Western Conference's eighth seed by one game over the Utah Jazz.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: If the Lakers don't make it, they have at least five legitimate reasons why they failed.
Firing of Mike Brown, Hiring of Mike D'Antoni, Not Hiring Phil Jackson
After five games, the Lakers brass fired Mike Brown. But before he got fired, they forced him to employ the "Princeton Offense," an offense that never got properly instituted because of injuries to nearly every key player in the preseason. Brown was out, but who would replace him? For several days, Phil Jackson was going to be re-hired, it looked like a foregone conclusion. But under the cover of night, late on a Sunday evening, the Lakers announced they would hire D'Antoni instead. As the season has now almost completely played itself out, they couldn't have been any worse if they would've just retained Bernie Bickerstaff for the entire season, who won four of his five games as head coach.
Every significant player on the team was injured at some point this season. Steve Nash, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol- and those are just the starters. The bench was equally ravaged. Robert Sacre, Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake; and that's the short list. No wonder they haven't had any chemistry all year.
Lack Of Pau Gasol
Gasol's head wasn't right all season. And yours wouldn't have been either if your name was Pau Gasol. No one has taken more of a beating for being "soft". But if he was soft, Gasol wouldn't have two rings and a slew of all-star appearances. So what does he get for his trouble? He gets benched for Earl Clark by D'Antoni, who was trying to assert his power to "motivate" Gasol. That was a "bass-akward" thing to do. To make it worse, D'Antoni did it when the Lakers rotation was being held together with duct tape. If he was healthy, the Lakers should've squeezed every last second out of him.
Where Was "Ron Ron" All Year?
I get that "Ron Ron" has decided to completely give up on scoring. I get that he fancies himself a lockdown one on one defender. But for a guy who has scored over 20+ ppg in his career, for him to not be more involved offensively (and I don't mean hoisting up three's from the corner, which has become his signature offensive move), I mean getting involved and productive when the team needed him. He didn't, so Kobe had to carry the squad, and still is, like always.
Dwight Howard Saga
I don't care what Howard's numbers are, or if Andrew Bynum missed the entire season- Howard killed the Lakers with his endless, me first drama. It started before he got traded to LA, then continued once he arrived because of "injuries" and a bunch of other excuses. Dwight Howard is a drama queen and softer than Pau Gasol- FACT.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is creating a media stir once again, and this time, it's by saying he would draft Baylor University women's basketball star Brittney Griner.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Either Cuban knows something we don't or he's just completely messing with all of us.
Kobey Bryant moves to 4th on the all-time points list topping Chamberlain. Where on the list will he finish?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He won't finish first, but really records always appear less important when you're struggling to make the playoffs.
Basketball is a team sport, but when two studs lock horns, the other players on the court recede from view.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: So many great rivalries, so little time!
Today, Gatorade released an ad for it's new product "Fixation",which features Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade squaring off, each player dreaming of a different outcome when they meet one and each other on the floor.
So it got me thinking: Who are the best one on one match-ups in NBA history?
Here are the first batlles that came to mind.
Shaquille O'Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
Their match-up in the 1995 NBA Finals has been washed asunder by the tides of history, but at the time, this may have been the best duel I have ever witness. Hakeem was paying the best basketball of his career this season (in the playoffs particularly)and maybe the best stretch for any center in NBA history. Shaq led the NBA in scoring this season (29.3 ppg) and was in the midst of establishing himself as the most physically dominant center ever. In the Finals, Hakeem averaged 32.8 ppg and Shaq scored 28.0 ppg.
Wilt Chamberlain vs Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
In the conversation about the best center of all-time, these two names are really the only two at the top of the list- it's really just a question of who is 1a and who is 1b.This excellent article breaks it down, blow by blow, and concludes that Wilt is the victor.
They played against each other 27 times, including 11 games in the playoffs of 1971 and 1972. In their first 11 meetings, Chamberlain was still able to (i.e. inclined to) score with Jabbar. In those first 11 games, Wilt averaged 22.8 ppg and 17.6 rebounds, while Kareem averaged 26.0 ppg and 15.6 rebounds.
50 ppg, 30.1 ppg over his career, 23 rebounds/game over his career, the only non-guard ever to lead the league in assists, 100 points in one game, the list goes on...Wilt was simply more dominating.
Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James
This is absolutely the most exciting match-up in the current NBA, with both players battling every night for supremacy. In five playoff games (last year's NBA Finals), KD outscored LBJ 30.6 ppg to 28.6 ppg. But James dominated in every other statistical category and also won the title, by a margin of 4-1. In 11 regular season match-ups it's the same story; Durant averages 29.0 to LBJ's 28.1, "Bron Bron" has the edge in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks and has won nine of the 11 games. "Durantula" has some work to do, potentially in this years NBA Finals.
Dominique Wilkins vs. Michael Jordan
Of their era, these were the two most athletically gifted, electrifying players. WIlkins at times, looked like he almost had too much energy for his body, while MJ was always smooooooth. In 45 career games against each other, Jordan won 27 while "Nique" won 18. MJ averaged 31.6, while Wilkins poured in 29.8 as both players had almost identical stat lines. In one playoff series that the Bulls swept, Jordan averaged 34.3, 6.7 rpg, 4.3 apg to Nique's 30.0, 5.3 rpg and 3.0 apg.
Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan
The significance of this rivalry isn't as much about the head to head play, though that was extremely entertaining, but about what it meant to the league- was it not old MJ versus a young version of himself? Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan played each other 8 times, four when Jordan was with the Chicago Bulls and 4 when he was with the Washington Wizards. The Lakers won 5 of those games. Across these games, Bryant scored an average of 22.8 points, while Jordan scored 24.5 points.
Oh,old man Jordan still has it.
What's your top five?
This may be Kobe's 17th NBA season but he still has ridiculous hops.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: At this point in his career, do we take Kobe Bryant for granted?
17 years ago today, MJ became just the tenth player in NBA history to eclipse the 24,000 point plateau.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Another day at the office, another milestone for Michael Jordan at that point in his career.
Who'd have thought at the time, that 17 years later to the day, he'd have a bogus paternity suit against him dropped?
Against the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center, Jordan poured in 38 points on 15 of 32 shooting as the Bulls won 98-94. The victory pushed the Chicago's record to 58-7. The Jordan led Bulls would ultimately set an NBA precedent for greatness that year, setting the all-time single season mark for victories in a season with 72.
Prior to Jordan, only nine players in the history of the league had scored at least 24,000 points- Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek, Moses Malone, Jerry West, Elvin Hayes, Oscar Robertson, George Gervin and Alex English.
Before it was all said and done, Jordan scored 32,292 points and retired having scored the third most points in NBA history. In 15 professional seasons, he led the NBA in scoring 10 times, including seven years in a row and 10 times in 11 seasons (!).
Kobe Bean Bryant is just 995 points away from tying MJ and wresting third place from his trophy case- as if Jordan even cares.
Since MJ got his 24,000th point in 1996, the accomplishment has become more commonplace. Currently, a total of 19 players (nine post-Jordan) have scored 24,000+ points, including Allen Iverson, Kobe, Karl Malone, Dirk Nowitzki, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing and Kevin Garnett.
Boston's Paul Pierce is just 223 points short, and former Celtic/current Heat guard Ray Allen is right behind him, just 145 points less than Pierce.
While all the other players on this list are great scorers, no one was more electrifying than Michael Jordan.Read More
Cavs star Kyrie Irving will be sidelined for a month; while Pau Gasol's return could be right around the corner.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: The Lakers are in good position to make a playoff run; the Cavs probably wouldn't have made the postseason with Irving; they are definitely out now.