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USA Wins Gold And Kobe Says Adios
Monday , Aug , 13 , 2012 Featured Guest Journalist

USA Wins Gold And Kobe Says Adios

Team USA Wins Gold and Kobe Says No More

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Was there really ever any doubt? Hmmm, yeah, there was.

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Forget “Dream Team”- Is 2012 US Squad Better Than Version II or Even III?
Thursday , Aug , 02 , 2012 Paul Eide

Forget “Dream Team”- Is 2012 US Squad Better Than Version II or Even III?

Thanks to comments by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, we've heard a lot of comparisions between the 2012 USA Olympic basketball team and the 1992 "Dream Team" that featured 11 hall of fame players. But how does the 2012 version stack up against versions II and III? 

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: The two following incarnations of the "Dream Team" were also stacked, but everyone seems to forget about them.

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Ice Cube Disses Andrew Bynum
Thursday , Jul , 26 , 2012 Andrew Flint

Ice Cube Disses Andrew Bynum

Ice Cube comes out and publicly questions Andrew Bynum's will to win. HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Preach Ice Preach. The truth just sounds good to hear. Read More
Jamison Signs With Lakers
Wednesday , Jul , 25 , 2012 Andrew Flint

Jamison Signs With Lakers

Antawn Jamison signs with the Los Angeles Lakers.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Now this is a great building block.

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Kobe Talks About Retiring In 2 Years.
Monday , Jul , 16 , 2012 Andrew Flint

Kobe Talks About Retiring In 2 Years.

Kobe Bryant talks about retiring in 2 years. HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kobe won't retire until he's forced out of the game. Anyone that thinks different is crazy. Read More
There’s Only One “Dream Team”, Sorry Kobe- Just Ask My Starting Lineup Figurines
Saturday , Jul , 14 , 2012 Paul Eide

There’s Only One “Dream Team”, Sorry Kobe- Just Ask My Starting Lineup Figurines

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since the original Dream Team dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics? It must've been that long if Kobe thinks this year's incarnation would have ANY SHOT against them.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: There will never be another Dream Team, in any sport.

Perhaps even more amazingly, can you believe that in all that time that I have maintained my collection of Starting Lineup Dream Team figurines in its original box, unopened and untouched by human hands? On a trip to a local Target with my step mother, I conned her into buying it for me; $100 when you're twelve feels like $1,000,000. It was the kind of gift you could only secure via guilt. It was the sort of reverse psychology that women have been employing on me ever since.
 
I remember one time in 8th grade during my 13th birthday party it was discovered by a party goer named Eric Hoffman who spent at least two hours prying me to open it. It was the ultimate peer pressure situation, but I held firm. It turns out I should’ve probably opened it because since then it’s appreciated roughly $20 in nearly 20 years. But every time I see it, I remember how special that team was, even though Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner, as late additions, were not included in the set.
 
Did you know that Laettner was actually selected over Shaquille O’Neal for the final spot? We all saw what Charles Barkley did to that Angolan; imagine what Shaq could’ve done. The Dream Team beat their opponents in the Olympics that year by an average score of 44 points a game and looked so cool doing it.
 
The closest margin of victory was a 32 point win over Croatia which included NBA players Toni Kukoc, Dino Radja, Drazen Petrovic, Stojko Vrankovic and Zan Tabak. Croatia won the Silver Medal and led by all that talent, ushered in a new era for the NBA where overseas players began to be viewed as valuable as their American counterparts. Today you can look at almost every NBA roster and find a player from another country, but in 1992 it was extremely rare.
 
Michael Jordan was the only player to start all eight games which really speaks to how great he was. Even surrounded by all those Alpha Males, there was no question who the top dog was. Jordan took 30 more shots than anyone else, but Barkley was the leading scorer putting up 18 ppg. Just in case anyone forgot, check out this roster; it would be akin to playing a game against the Hall of Fame as 11 of the players (minus Laettner) are actually in the Hall of Fame:
 
Michael Jordan- 14.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.8 apg
David Robinson- 9.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
Patrick Ewing- 9.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg. 0.4 apg
Larry Bird- 8.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg
Scottie Pippen- 9.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 5.9 apg
Clyde Drexler- 10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg
Karl Malone- 13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 apg
John Stockton- 2.8 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
Chris Mullin- 12.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.6 apg
Charles Barkley- 18 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Magic Johnson- 8.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.5 apg
Christian Laettner- 4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.4 apg
 
 
Since the original Dream Team won Gold, the rest of the world gradually caught up and no other US Olympic team was even close to being as dominant. In what can only be described as an affront to the supreme quality of the original (and only, in my mind) Dream Team is that each of the next two USA Olympic teams were also referred as the “Dream Team” though really, who are they fooling? A team with Steve Smith on it should never be referred to as a “Dream Team”. A more suitable moniker would be “Team of Guys Who Are Above Average NBA Players”.
 
The Dream Team wasn't just the greatest team ever assembled for the way it dominated on the court, but it actually furthered the development of the sport for the entire world.
 
Sorry, Kobe.
 
 

 

Kobe Blames Bynum for Loss
Friday , May , 11 , 2012 Andrew Flint

Kobe Blames Bynum for Loss

Kobe points the finger squarely at Bynum for Laker loss.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kobe's right. Bynum sucked.

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Friday , Apr , 20 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Sources: Mitch Kupchak to interview with Blazers

Kupchak is one of the Blazers' top targets in their quest to land an executive with experience running a franchise's basketball operations, sources told ESPN.com.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mitch Kupchak, things are weird with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The owner’s son, Jim Buss, is your boss despite having no experience as a basketball executive. The superstar, Kobe Bryant, is a raging Alpha Male who can’t accept that the team is better with Andrew Bynum as the top option. Speaking of Bynum, his lack of maturity is obvious.

And we haven’t even mentioned Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes, coach Mike Brown‘s offense, the press, or the rapid fan base that demand a championship every year.

Still, the Lakers quirks are nothing when compared to the mayhem of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers lost two of their top three players, Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, to injury. Long-time coach Nate McMillan was recently fired. The club is starting over.

Sadly, the on-court mess wouldn’t be the biggest challenge. That would be eccentric owner Paul Allen.

Remember, Allen fired executive Kevin Pritchard moments before the draft and casually told his former executive to stick around for the team's pick. The club spent months searching for Pritchard’s replacement. They supposedly had their man in Richie Cho, but fired him a year later for being too quiet.

There's a reason the Blazers haven't hired a replacement: no decent executive will take the gig. They don't want the mess, melodrama, and headache.

So Mitch, stick with the Lakers. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

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

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Tuesday , Apr , 17 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Will Kobe Bryant fit with new, balanced Lakers?

If this is something that Bryant does take to heart, the Lakers, now that they have a major upgrade at point guard — Sessions for Derek Fisher — appear fully capable of coming out of the Western Conference. And while Bryant's stint on the bench has allowed his teammates to build their own confidence, it has also allowed his legs to rest. "This is a blessing in disguise for him to rest, heal up," World Peace said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: So, what happens now?

The Los Angeles Lakers have won four straight games with  Black Mamba on the sideline in an expensive, dark suit.

To be fair: the purple-and-gold are 4-1 without Bryant, their franchise face, All-Star, perennial MVP candidate, and long-time Alpha Dog.

With Bryant sporting an injured shin, the Lakers have found their groove. Andrew Bynum has become an even greater beast. Pau Gasol is loving the extra touches. Metta World Peace is playing like a young Ron Artest -minus the outbursts. Even Matt Barnes has found his old form.

Bottom line: the Lakers have chemistry.

Whenever Bryant returns, he must fit with teammates and not disrupt the good vibes that have circulated Staples Center during his absence.

If that means deferring, so be it. If that means looking inside more to Bynum, so be it. If that means contributing in ways besides scoring, so be it.

Then, in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Bryant can become the end-of-game assassin we know.

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

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Sunday , Apr , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Ramon Sessions risking future with Lakers by opting-out?

“These fans really believe in me in this place and they really know basketball. They’ve seen the greatest of greats come through here,” he said. “It’s unreal. In my whole career, it’s never been like this, being noticed. You’re on ESPN every night or TNT. You’re with Kobe Bryant out there in the backcourt. I want to be here. I don’t know what that means or how that’s going to happen. It ain’t no secret. I’ll tell anybody that. I tell [Lakers General Manager] Mitch Kupchak. I tell my agent. I want to be here. Period. For a long time.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ramon Sessions will probably be back in Los Angeles Lakers next season.

After all, Sessions likes the Lakers. And the Lakers like Sessions, the dynamic point guard they acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline.

Why would Sessions, who claims to be living a dream playing next to Kobe Bryant, decline a player’s option for next year? Why risk a good thing?

Well, money. Sessions wants a raise on the $4.6 million he’s due in 2013 and greater security with a long-term pact. Things can change and twelve months from now he may not have the same leverage.

The Lakers will pay Sessions this summer -if his demands are fair. His ability to attack the hoop and lightning-quick feet have provided another dimension to coach Mike Brown`s system.

That said, things are always somewhat fluid at Staples Center. Executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are constantly trying to improve, which may include chasing free agent Deron Williams this summer.

It’s unlikely Williams ends up in Los Angeles. Dallas is home. And Team Cuban has been hoarding cap space in hopes of signing the perennial All-Star to a max’ money pact.

Stranger things have happened, though. For instance, nobody thought the Lakers had the assets to acquire Chris Paul. And they did. Twice.

Commissioner David Stern stepped in to nix the trade and appease militant email writing owners like Cleveland’s Dan Gilbert. Paul was then shuttled off to the Los Angeles Clippers for a sub par package.

So Sessions is taking a risk, albeit a small one, by refusing to opt-in. The impossible -- like the Lakers signing Williams -- has a way of becoming reality with the NBA`s glamour team.

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

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Monday , Apr , 02 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kobe Bryant hits buzzer-beater, despite missing first 15 shots

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Charles Barkley once said the difference between good and great is confidence.

Who is more confident than the great Kobe Bryant?

Last night, he missed his first fifteen attempts from the floor but still took and made the game-winning three-pointer to beat the determined New Orleans Hornets last night at Staples Center.

Click the video below and watch Bryant go to work on Jarrett Jack.


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

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Saturday , Mar , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant co-signs Jim Buss, but for how long?

We have a good relationship," Bryant told the "Mason & Ireland Show" on 710 ESPN on Thursday when asked about Jim Buss. "People misunderstand that relationship. We have a good time. We've had dinner together and things like that. He's a great guy and he wants to do the right thing and he wants to help us win a championship. The biggest thing, which was the same with his father, who he has learned from, is that he's not going to make rushed decisions. He's going to be patient and he's going to take his time."The one thing I will say about him and about the Lakers' organization is that it's one of those franchises that always seems to land on its feet. Always seems to make the right choices. Always seems to make the right decisions, even the tough ones."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant approves of Jim Buss … for now.

Bryant, the straw that stirs the drink for the Los Angeles Lakers, apparently likes the job Buss is doing in the owner-executive chair.

This is good for Buss. His survival, and the survival of the Lakers, depends on Bryant supporting management.

It doesn’t matter if the Buss family owns the team. Bryant - arguably, the greatest Laker ever and a once in a generation talent - is in charge.

Bryant’s comments are surprising, though. After all, the Lakers have made no secret of their desire to cut costs, which led to Lamar Odom getting sent to the Dallas Mavericks.

There were rumors Pau Gasol was getting traded. The chatter will resume this summer if the Lakers don’t win the west.

Still, all seems well in Laker-ville. Ramon Sessions is a terrific addition, adding speed and quickness on both ends of the floor.

This is just a moment, though. And moments change rather quickly with the NBA’s glamour team.

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