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Thursday , Jan , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Mike Brown: Kobe Bryant has earned Freedom

“That’s why we sit and watch and tape afterwards,” continued Brown.  “So we can better understand where he wants the ball or he can better understand what I want on this particular possession or anything like that. I think it’s pretty neat that everybody’s making a big deal of it but it’s early in the process, I’m getting to know him, he’s got the five . . . championship rings, so he’s been there and done that.  I’m going to give him some freedom.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant is still The King. For now.

Some feel the Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise in transition, as Andrew Bynum takes on a greater role in the offense.

Just don’t tell Bryant, the reigning Alpha Male and Alpha Dog in La-La land. The former MVP and five-time champion still shoots at will -witness his recent 6-for-28 shooting performance.

Something larger is at play, though. For instance, the Lakers are a fractured organization. Jim Buss, the boss’ son, hired Mike Brown as coach in part because he would empower Bynum.

Of course, Buss claims he drafted and developed Bynum. And the better Bynum does, the better Buss feels about his status as a basketball executive.

So, it’s complicated.

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

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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Andrew Flint

King Gets A Queen: LeBron to marry girlfriend Savannah Brinson

Chris Paul via twitter: Happy for my brother @KingJames and sis @SavannahRB on their engagement!!! Extremely happy for them and the good times to come #HappyNewYearSun Jan 01 06:06:50 via UberSocial for BlackBerry. Link HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He isn't worried by Kobe Bryant's pending divorce. And Kris Humphries' sham marriage and current status as the NBA's 'MHP' (most hated player) doesn't phase him, either. The twitter world is abuzz because Miami Heat superstar LeBron James finally proposed to long-time girlfriend Savannah Brinson over the weekend. Perhaps James was inspired by Michael Jordan, who got engaged last week to his Cuban model girlfriend Yvette Prieto.  Perhaps not. So, will James and Brinson's union end in tears and tabloid covers or will these two live happily ever after? Let HoopsVibe News know your thoughts in the comment box below. Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Dec , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jim Buss: Lakers won’t trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard

"I don't understand the thinking that we need saving as a franchise," Buss says. "We have three All-Stars, and we need saving?" There's an Internet report suggesting Orlando was willing to trade Howard for Bynum and Pau Gasol, but now he's shaking his head as if in pain."Where does this stuff come from?" he says. "You'd have to be kind of silly to give up two All-Stars like that for Howard. Zero truth to it. We have never been asked for Andrew and Pau and we've never offered them. I think they know we'd either say no or they would sound crazy for asking."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Publicly, Jim Buss has to downplay the Los Angeles Lakers’ interest in Orlando Magic post Dwight Howard.

Privately, the owner’s son should know the team that gets the best player wins the trade, so Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak must be open swapping Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol for Howard.

Here’s the complication: the Lakers are a fractured bunch, as most things in the world of purple-and-gold is political.

Like Bynum. For instance, Jim Buss is reluctant to trade, or even criticize, Bynum because he likes to take credit for drafting and developing the seven-foot center.

And the better Bynum plays, the more Buss can justify his role as a basketball executive within the organization.

Instead of trading Bynum, Buss has empowered him, hiring a coach, Mike Brown, who will feature his skills, and even declaring him Kobe Bryant’s equal.

So Buss' agenda and Laker politics could complicate doing what is right: swapping Bynum and Gasol for Howard.

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

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Friday , Dec , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Matt Barnes to Blake Griffin and Clippers: act like you’ve dunked before

“It’s a preseason game,’ Barnes said after Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. ‘Yeah, they’re catching lobs and dunking. But it’s just a preseason game. Let’s just play basketball. If you make a dunk, act like you’ve done it before. He’s got hundreds of them. There’s no need for the hoorah after every single dunk. It’s unnecessary.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Los Angeles’ two NBA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, don’t care for each other. Not one bit.

After all, Los Angeles was always a Laker town. They had The Logo, Wilt the Stilt, Kareem, Magic, Big Game James, Shaq-Fu, Kobe Bean, Andrew Bynum, and others.

While the Clippers could never attract or keep top talent because owner Donald Sterling wouldn’t open his wallet or spend the luxury tax payments he received from league head office.

This age-old dynamic is changing. The (natural) order of Los Angeles’ basketball teams could flip flop in 2012.  

The Lakers, who are still talented, are in transition, while the Clippers have Chris Paul at point guard; Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan down low;  and veterans like Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams.

Here’s the biggest shock: the Clippers are the glamour team. Griffin and Jordan’s aerial antics will receive endless love on ESPN, youtube, and twitter.

And some, like the Lakers' Matt Barnes, don't appreciate the post dunks celebrations.

Too bad.

Barnes better realize times have changed. These are the new Clippers.

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

 

 

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Monday , Dec , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: I want to stay with Lakers

Q: Do you see yourself retiring with the Lakers? There’s been speculation you might want a change.

Bryant: “I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t have any feeling about [leaving] whatsoever.”

Q: So you definitely want to stay a Laker?

Bryant: “Of course. No question. Why not? I’ve been here for 16 years. I’m going to up and leave now?”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Black Mamba isn’t going anywhere. Unless he wants to.

Yesterday Kobe Bryant, the superstar guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, told Yahoo Sports he would not be asking management for a trade.

Bryant has perhaps the best contract in sports. He earns between $25-30 million per annum; holds a no trade clause; and receives a large portion of his salary early in the season, which can then be invested.

Translation: Bryant isn’t upset about the changes in Laker-land.

He will work with new coach Mike Brown -even though he’s not Brian Shaw. He accepts that Andrew Bynum will have a greater role. And he has forgiven management for tying Lamar Odom in a bow and giving him as a gift to the world champion Dallas Mavericks.

All is good between Bryant and the team he has spent sixteen years with. For now.

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

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Saturday , Dec , 17 , 2011 Andrew Flint

Rumor: Did Kobe cheat … again?

Sources connected with the couple tell TMZ ... Vanessa -- who stuck by Kobe after he was charged with sexually assaulting a Colorado woman in 2003 -- decided to end the marriage because she believes Kobe has been unfaithful ... again. As one source puts it, "She's been dealing with these incidents for a long time and has been a faithful wife, but she's finally had enough," adding, "This one is the straw that broke the camel's back." And our sources say ... Kobe "desperately" wants to win Vanessa back and will do "whatever it takes" to save their 10 1/2 year marriage. Link HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: She stood by him during his sexual assault case. And she stood by him through rumors of affairs and infidelity. Not now, though. Vanessa Bryant, the wife of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Kids, that’s code for infidelity. And various sources are reporting that Vanessa felt Bryant had again been unfaithful. Apparently, the two sides have worked out all or most details of the divorce, and Vanessa is entitled to half of Bryant’s $350 million because there is no prenuptial agreement. Bryant’s focus has helped him play through past distractions, however, his divorce is one more distraction for a Lakers side in transition. --Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe on Lamar Odom trade: ‘I don’t like it’

One of his closest friends on the Lakers, Lamar Odom, was traded Saturday night to Dallas for a first-round pick in the 2012 amateur draft, depriving the Lakers of their top rebounder and a solid character guy in the locker room. "I don't like it," Bryant said Sunday. "I've known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he's meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality. He's a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He's great at bringing guys together and things of that nature.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The straw that stirs the purple-and-gold's drink has spoken. And he isn’t happy.

Kobe Bryant, arguably the game’s best player and franchise face for the Los Angeles Lakers, is unhappy that forward Lamar Odom was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks in a salary clearing move.

Bryant was unhappy for a few reasons:

First, Odom was a key guy in the locker room, bringing different people and factions together into a cohesive whole.

Second, Odom, a former Sixth Man of the Year, had his best season as a Laker in 2011, despite being supposedly distracted by his reality TV duties as Mr. Khloe Kardashian.

Third, Odom went to the Dallas Mavericks, the 2011 world champions and arch rival of the Lakers.

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

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Saturday , Dec , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum ‘indifferent’ about possible Howard deal?

The source classified Bynum as “indifferent” to all the trade talk and willing to play wherever. This is the third time he’s been rumored to be the centerpiece of a package for an All-Star, previously being involved in discussions for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Andrew Bynum has been through this before.

Remember the Los Angeles Lakers nearly dealt a teenage Bynum to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd. The speculation was ramped, with Laker great Kobe Bryant commenting on the trade rumors in a bizarre cell-phone video.

There had also been chatter of Bynum being dangled as bait for Kevin Garnett when The Big Ticket was looking to escape the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So it’s no surprise that Bynum isn’t bothered by the chatter of being sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for All-Star Dwight Howard.

In Orlando, he’d be the undisputed first option. There’d be no more playing in the shadow of Kobe Bryant.

However, there’s a strong chance the Lakers keep Bynum. He was, after all, the choice of Jim Buss, the new lead executive of the purple-and-gold and, most importantly, the owner’s son.

The younger Buss uses Bynum’s success to justify his position in the front office. Don’t think this doesn’t matter in the political world of the purple-and-gold.

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

Kobe’s 81 Vs. Robinson’s 71- Which Is More Impressive?
Wednesday , Nov , 30 , 2011 Paul Eide

Kobe’s 81 Vs. Robinson’s 71- Which Is More Impressive?

 

A lot of Spurs fans seem to think that David Robinson’s performance against the Clippers doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Namely, that Kobe gets more love for his 81 point game. My response is- why wouldn’t he? He scored 10 more points. And that’s only one of five reasons I can think of.
 
Let’s Reflect: Kobe Bryant’s 81 Point Game
Saturday , Nov , 26 , 2011 Paul Eide

Let’s Reflect: Kobe Bryant’s 81 Point Game

At this point, I think we’re all kind of desensitized by watching Kobe Bryant score. “Oh boy, Kobe poured in another 30 point game- yawn.” But Kobe’s 81 point game is his greatest singular achievement, sort of like “David” was for Michelangelo- it sums him all up in one piece of work.

Read More
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Saturday , Nov , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh on newest Shaq Attack: ‘It’s really just a tactic’

Considering O'Neal previously had compared Bosh to a drag queen, as "the RuPaul of big men," Bosh hardly finds himself compelled to respond to the rehash. "I know the thing is entertainment," Bosh told the Sun Sentinel. "How are you going to get people to buy your book? "So I don't care about stuff that is said in the media or in books or pointed or directed toward somebody, because it's really just a tactic and nothing else. He's an author. He can write whatever he wants. If he sells a bunch, then congrats to him."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh is right. This is about Shaquille O'Neal selling books.

Nothing more; nothing less.

After all, Shaq has a legacy of attacking coaches, teammates, and even friends when it suits him.

Consider some of his foes: Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson (at times), Dwyane Wade (at times), Pat Riley, Terry Porter and Robin Lopez. 

The ultimate was the television Shaq Vs. Well, the future member of the Hall of Fame overheard Steve Nash discussing the concept with his people.

And he liked it. So The Big Fella stole it. A flat-out robbery.

A few days later, after working out the details with ABC, O'Neal casually announced he had a new reality show and Nash rightfully responded with anger.

So Bosh is happy to let O'Neal talk. That's all The Big Broadcaster will be doing from now on.

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

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Wednesday , Nov , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Kobe is a more ‘scientific dawg’ than LeBron and D-Wade

So where do these two guys measure up against Kobe? Kobe is a scientific dawg. He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs. Me, I’m a freak-of-nature dawg because of my size. LeBron could be a scientific dawg like Kobe, but he’s got a lot going on like I did, so that’s preventing him from being one.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal thinks Kobe Bryant is a ‘scientific dawg’, which apparently makes him better in the clutch than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

For the record, I don’t know what a ‘scientific dawg’ is. I do think Shaq is saying Bryant is a superior fourth quarter player because of his focus and commitment to his craft.

Perhaps.

At this stage in their careers, James and Wade are better athletes - and maybe better players - than Bryant. But Bryant always possessed an intangible that more often than not propelled him to greatness when it mattered most.

This was evident from his early days sitting on the Lakers' bench as a 17-year old rookie under Coach Del Harris.

He is indeed the closest thing to Michael Jordan that the NBA has ever had. Shaq, his former nemesis, has to show respect by dubbing him a scientific dawg’.

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

 

 

 

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Monday , Nov , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: I’d beat Kobe one-on-one

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just a hunch, but I’m guessing LeBron James doesn’t like being asked who’d win one-on-one against Kobe Bryant.

This, however, did not stop The King from taking himself when asked by a British reporter. Click the video, watch James get snaky with a foreign scribe, and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts on LeBron vs. Kobe.

LeBron vs. Kobe in one-on-one? Get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts.

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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Pat Riley and I nearly fought in Miami

I start taking a couple of steps towards Pat. Udonis Haslem steps in and I shove him out of the way. Then Zo tries to grab me. I threw him aside like he was a rag doll.Now it's me and Riley face-to-face, jaw to jaw. I'm poking him in the chest and he keeps slapping my finger away and it's getting nasty. Noisy, too. He's yelling "F--- you!" and I'm yelling back, "No, f--- you!" Zo is trying to calm us both down and he has this kind of singsong panic in his voice. He keeps saying, "Big fella, no big fella, big fella!" I finally turn around and tell him, "Don't worry. I'm not going to hit the man. Do you think I'm crazy?"

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal’s tell-all tour continues. No player, coach, man, or woman will be spared.

The future Hall of Fame center has a spill-the-beans book coming out, so he and his people have leaked excerpts to create a buzz.

Like O’Neal’s World Wars with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Like O`Neal`s take on LeBron James ignoring Coach Mike Brown in Cleveland. Like O`Neal`s lack of a relationship with iconic center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The latest: O’Neal nearly fought Pat Riley, also known as the oil slick, during practice with Miami. Of course, O’Neal says he was heroically sticking up for teammate Jason Williams.

This may or may not be true. There’s no disputing O’Neal has had problems with coaches.

There was the fallout with Riley. There were problems with Phil Jackson, another all-time great on the sideline. And he undermined Terry Porter in Phoenix.

So before blaming others, O’Neal should perhaps look inward first. This, however, is unlikely.

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

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Sunday , Nov , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant okay with 50-50 split of BRI?

Lost in the diabolical din of the recent Derek Fisher report on FoxSports.com was the assertion that Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant is willing to accept a 50-50 deal. Two sources with knowledge of his thinking, meanwhile, told SI.com that Bryant has indeed made it known that he's open to considering the down-the-middle split. Bryant, it is believed, has indicated to union leaders on numerous occasions that -- so long as the system issues were adequately resolved -- the season was not worth sacrificing if the negotiations came down to a couple percentage points on BRI (which, to be clear, are hardly chump change considering they're worth approximately $40 million annually per percentage point).

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For the NBA’s best player, the system take priority over Basketball Related Income.

Unlike his peers, Kobe Bryant is more concerned with the owners’ trying to limit player movement through harsh taxes and closing loopholes than a few percentage points of revenue.

Interesting.

Bryant would, in fact, take a 50-50 split of BRI; however, the owners would need to give in other ares so players have leverage when they are free agents.

There’s the key word: give.

Right now, the owners want everything. The split of BRI. The system. It’s total victory or nothing. They aren’t giving the players anything unless it’s a deadline.

Bryant, despite being the game greatest player, has little power to change that.

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

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Tuesday , Nov , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq once warned Kobe: ‘I Will Kill You’

Kobe stands up and goes face-to-face with me and says, “You always said you’re my big brother, you’d do anything for me, and then this Colorado thing happens and you never even called me.” I did call him. … So here we are now, and we find out he really was hurt that we didn’t stand behind him. That was something new. I didn’t think he gave a rat’s ass about us either way. “Well, I thought you’d publicly support me, at least,” Kobe said. “You’re supposed to be my friend.”

Brian Shaw chimed in with “Kobe, why would you think that? Shaq had all these parties and you never showed up for any of them. We invited you to dinner on the road and you didn’t come. Shaq invited you to his wedding and you weren’t there. Then you got married and didn’t invite any of us. And now you are in the middle of this problem, this sensitive situation, and now you want all of us to step up for you. We don’t even know you.” …

Everyone was starting to calm down when I told Kobe, “If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The shocking part is that their World Wars didn’t erupt sooner and destroy the Los Angeles Lakers.

Pundits often debate how many championships Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal could’ve won if they worked together and pushed their egos to the side.

The argument is that Bryant and O’Neal, while capturing three consecutive Larry O’Brien trophies, should‘ve been far more successful.

They should've been Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (six championships). Or, they should've been Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (five championships).

Instead they have just three. I, however, have a different view: it‘s a miracle they won anything.

Sure, they were talented. At the time, O’Neal was as dominating a player to ever suit up in the NBA, while Bryant was coming into his own as a superstar. 

The excerpts from O’Neal’s upcoming book show just how dysfunctional those Lakers were, especially the highly toxic dynamic between Shaq and Kobe.

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

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Sunday , Oct , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Kobe’s better than LeBron

“Everybody’s always asking, ‘Who is better between Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron?’” Johnson said. “I’m like, Are you kidding me? I’m like you’re kidding me … Kobe, five championships; LeBron, zero. I love the young man though. I know he’s going to get better in the fourth quarter this year.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He speaks the truth.

Magic Johnson isn’t hating on LeBron James by saying that the Miami Heat three-man can’t compare with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

Magic’s reasoning is fair: Bryant has five championships, while James has none.

After all, championships have long been the mark of greatness in the NBA. Superstars, the real elites, measure themselves by the number of times they hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June and not individual statistics.

Johnson was simply holding James accountable to this criteria. To be fair, James is currently superior to Bryant, but has yet to enjoy true post-season success.

Until James does, he’s not in the same company as Bryant.

O.Sandor

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

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Sunday , Oct , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe, Garnett, Pierce to blame for failed CBA negotiations?

When they convened, instead of the union’s head, Hunter, or their negotiating committee of Maurice Evans, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas and Chris Paul, representing the players were Fisher, Kessler, and three superstars who had been to very few of the meetings at all: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.

A bad sign: Pierce was still wearing his backpack. The players had two pieces of news that shocked the league: 50/50 was not good enough. And there was nothing further to discuss.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Are they up for it?

Are Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce up for being scapegoats if players and owners don’t solve the lockout and eventually cancel the season.

After all, there’s plenty to suggest a deal was within reach last week at or near the 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Then Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce walked into Commissioner Stern’s office and said no way. The even split of BRI was off. The players wanted 53%. Or no deal.

The players and owners who thought a new collective bargaining agreement was within reach and were prepared to negotiate around the clock to preserve the 82 game season were dumbfounded.

Here’s why I think they were shocked:

1) How can three guys who have earned hundreds of millions of dollars and can live off endorsements tell (yes, tell) a fringe player to stand united with their cause?

At some point, their interests diverge. At some point, there will be a split in the union.

2) Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce are intelligent, confident guys. They will be informed and up-to-date on facts and information, however, Pierce was the only one actively involved in negotiations.

Bryant and Garnett did not attend the majority of negotiations, and had no business hijacking these high stakes meetings or claiming to represent the union.

Billy Hunter should have been there. Heck, somebody with an MBA or law background should have been there.

3) I would want Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce leading on-court. I would not want Bryant and/or Garnett leading off-court.

Their emotional, competitive temperament that is ideal for playoff runs and championships makes them ill matched for negotiations.

This group, especially Bryant and Garnett, are prone to outbursts that result in ill-fated decisions like the storming of Stern’s office. Moreover, their situation does not reflect the needs of most in their union.

The consequence could well be a backlash from fans whenever the season does start.

--O.Sandor.

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

   

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Sunday , Oct , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: MIlan says No Thanks to Kobe Bryant?

Q: Have you ever thought about signing Kobe (Bryant)?:

A (Coach Sergio Scariolo): The Olympia has received many calls by the representative of Bryant, because the player was interested in playing in Milan. We, however, from the beginning we had decided not to sign players under lockout, and only one for which we wanted to make an exception was Danilo Gallinari due to human and personal connotations that attach to this team. From the beginning we thought it was the only signing NBA going to do.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Fact or fiction?

It’s hard to know what’s true or false with reports that Kobe Bryant will head overseas for a jaunt in Italy during the NBA work stoppage.

For weeks, Virtus Bologna has been saying they’re close to signing the Los Angeles Lakers superstar to a contract while players and owners bicker over a new collective bargaining agreement. 

Those negotiations have stalled. Executives with Milan are saying they turned down Kobe Bryant’s overtures as they decided not to sign locked out NBA players.

Reports of Bryant heading abroad spring up when players and owners hit a snag in negotiations. It could be a coincidence. Or, it could be a ploy to pressure Jerry Buss, the Lakers owner.

Hopefully, Bryant plays soon in his trademark purple-and-gold. Sadly, a stint in Italy seems more likely.

--O.Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Oct , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: Kwame Brown was scared of the ball

So we go back to the timeout and I’m [upset], right? He goes, ‘I was wide open.’ ‘Yeah, I know.’ This is how I’m talking to him, like, during the game. I said, ‘You’re going to be open again, Kwame, because Rasheed is just totally ignoring you.’ He said, ‘Well, if I’m open don’t throw it to me.’ I was like, ‘Huh?’ He said, ‘Don’t throw it to me.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, well, ‘I’m nervous. If I catch it and they foul me, I won’t make the free throws.’ I said, ‘Hell no!’ “I go to Phil [Jackson], I say, ‘Hey Phil, take him out of the game.’ He’s like, ‘Nah, let him figure it out.’ So, we lose the game, I go the locker room, I’m steaming.  

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Has a top pick ever been such a punching bag?

Remember, Michael Jordan and Doug Collins selected Kwame Brown first overall with the Washington Wizards and quickly shattered his confidence.

Before bouncing around the league, Brown surfaced with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant, from the sound of things, was shocked by Brown’s issues.

After all, the prep-to-pro post had all the physical tools: a strong physique, height, strength, and a wingspan.

Something was missing between the ears, though. For instance, who says don’t pass me the ball if I am open?

A professional, even a blue-collar specialist, should want the ball when to keep opposing defenses honest.

It’s no surprise the Lakers took off once they traded Brown, dropped Smush Parker, and upgraded their supporting cast.

O.Sandor.

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