kobe-bryant
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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

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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.

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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.

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Friday , Oct , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Andrea Bargnani considering Virtus Roma?

Virtus Roma owner: "We have been talking with Andrea Bargnani. In my opinion, if he decides to play in Italy, he will sign just with us (Bargnani was born and grew up in Roma).

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: European clubs are loving the lockout.

The best squads in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey are free to flirt with the best NBA players who are without jobs.

This means free publicity.

For weeks, executives with Virtus Bologna have been ‘negotiating’ with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

These executives have no issue discussing negotiations with the press, while Bryant’s representative, Rob Pelinka, has had little to say.

Now the head suit with Virtus Roma is telling anyone who will listen that in his opinion they’ll land Andrea Bargani.

Perhaps they will. Perhaps they won’t.

The media (myself included) is reporting his opinion, though. So Virtus Romas, like every other European club, might as well get the free publicity while they can.

O.Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: players, owners holding make-or-break meeting on Tuesday?

Monday's smaller scale labor meeting adjourned shortly before 4:00 PM EST after a session that lasted 4.5 hours. David Stern and Adam Silver said that Monday's meeting was to "set the table for (Tuesday's) meeting."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote the MJ bio flick: ‘This Is It’.

NBA players and owners are meeting on Tuesday to discuss a solution to the now three month lockout which has brought the business of basketball to a halt.

Apparently, the players are bringing in the big guns. Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and Amar’e Stoudemire are expected to attend.

While the owners are talking tough, with Commissioner Stern saying the players need to make further concessions with respect to Basketball Related Income and system issues like the hard cap.

Bottom line: it should be interesting.

--O. Sandor.

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

 

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Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Stephen Jackson in ‘What’s a Lockout’

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: NBA players have handled the lockout in different ways.

Heat superstar Dwyane Wade got into a shouting match with Commissioner David Stern at a bargaining session; Nets table-setter Deron Williams is playing in Turkey; Laker great Kobe Bryant has spread his brand and may sign in Italy.

Then there’s Stephen Jackson. The newest edition to the Milwaukee Bucks has released a lockout inspired rap song.

Click the video below, give Captain Jack’s work in the booth a listen, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

(By the way, listener discretion is advised.)

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

 

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Sunday , Oct , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deal or no Deal: Is Kobe really playing in Italy?

Emiliano Carchia: Legabasket president Valentino Renzi is optimistic about the Kobe Bryant's deal. He said that Virtus Bologna will be allowed to play the 1st two games of the season at home despite the rule forbids that. Virtus Bologna won't talk about the deal as asked by Kobe's agent.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deal or no deal?

Virtus Bologna has been telling anyone and everyone they have signed Kobe Bryant to a shared-risk contract where every team in the Italian league will pay part of his salary.

Bryant, however, has been mostly silent.

Yes, he told the European media of his affinity for Italy, the country he spent much of his childhood in. And yes, he hinted strongly at playing in Italy if the lockout continues.

It’s easy to conclude that Virtus Bologna executives are talking too much for the Bryant camp, soaking up the publicity that comes with being connected to a world class player.

Bryant to Italy could still happen. But it will be inspite of executives at Virtus Bologna and not because of them. 

--O. Sandor

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

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Friday , Sep , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe slams Shaq for not practicing

Kobe is out on a Nike-fueled tour of Italy right now and in a radio interview he was asked what was his issue with Shaq: “I like players who work out. I used to do that 6-7 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them”.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was a shot at on old foe.

Today Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant called out players who don’t practice. Translation: he’s talking about Shaquille O’Neal, also known as The Big Broadcaster.

Of course, Bryant and O’Neal have history.

They were teammates and rivals with the Lakers. Then they parted and were just rivals, slamming each other in the press and at open mic’ night.

Currently, there’s a détente between the two, which results in not-so subtle digs flying back and forth every few months.

Whatever the case, it's nice to see O'Neal, now a retired TNT broadcaster, getting a taste of his own medicine.

In July, he called out Chris Bosh, Recently, he bragged about warning Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge not to trade Kendrick Perkins.

And he made a career of jabbing, poking, and swiping his peers. For once, the shoe is on the other foot.

--O. Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Sep , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe contemplating $7 million offer from Virtus Bologna?

Kobe Bryant has been offered $6.7 million to play basketball for an Italian team, appealing to his childhood memories of growing up the country. Virtus Bologna general manager Massimo Faraoni tells The Associated Press he's been on conference calls between Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, Bologna president Claudio Sabatini and main sponsor Canadian Solar, which would provide the cash for such a deal.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant will pass.

There have been rumblings the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is contemplating a one-year, $7 million dollar offer to suit up for Virtus Bologna in Italy.

Returning to his childhood home of Italy would be nice. And he’d love to spread his brand across international waters into Europe.

But Bryant has greater fish to fry -like getting revenge on the Dallas Mavericks for last year’s playoff defeat and winning a Michael Jordan-esque sixth championship.

Bryant, who is hitting the twilight of his career, won’t risk a championship for a jaunt throughout Europe.

--O. Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe to Virtus Bologna a Union bluff?

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a youth basketball clinic in Singapore that he didn't know if there will be a 2011-12 season and hasn't ruled out playing abroad. "I could," Bryant said Saturday. "I'm playing abroad right now."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he stay state-side or go abroad?

This was the dilemma facing Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who could earn millions of dollars per month playing outside the NBA.

However, the rumours, speculation, and gossip teetered off once the Chinese leagues restricted the escape clauses and talks heated up between the players and owners on a new collective bargaining agreement.

  Currently, the two sides are nowhere near a deal, which means Bryant is again considering his options abroad.

Perhaps he’ll tour Asia. Perhaps he’ll link up with a top squad in Europe. Currently, the owner of a prominent Italian club side is exploring ways to sign Bryant and pay the insurance on his NBA pact.

Or perhaps it’s a massive bluff. Bryant could be trying to pressure the owners, who hold all the cards and leverage in this lockout, by talking about suiting up in another league.

If so, it’s a Hail Mary. It may be the union’s best shot of getting some owners to move off their hard-line stance.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Saturday , Sep , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mike Brown wants less Kobe, more Bynum and Gasol?

And whether you want to read a lot or a little into it, note this: When talking about the contrasting offensive styles Brown will show from Cleveland to here, the new Lakers’ coach summarized the coming Lakers offense as feeding Gasol and Bynum inside, not being the Kobe show.

“This team is completely different from what I had in Cleveland,” Brown said. “In Cleveland, I had a guy who liked to come off the top of the floor, liked to play in space and play pick-and-roll and make plays for others. Here, I’ve got two guys similar to what we had in San Antonio; you’re able to throw them the ball on the block.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can a new coach and his new philosophy create new results for the Los Angeles Lakers when the NBA season begins?

It’s been a few months since Phil Jackson, the Hall of Fame coach and undisputed master of all things Zen, was replaced with Brown as sideline boss by the Lakers.

Brown, it seems, isn’t scared to shake things up, and wants to utilize his super-sized front-court.

Translation: less Kobe Bryant, more Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

However, it’s not known how Bryant, the club’s reigning top dog and Alpha Male, will feel about sharing his lofty perch with Bynum and Gasol.

Bynum is attached to Jim Buss, the controversial son of long-time owner Jerry Buss. Many feel the younger Bynum to leave his imprint on the Lakers.

And Gasol’s meltdown in last year’s playoff shocked the mortgage industry, prompted a twitter tirade from Snopp Dogg, and led to a physical confrontation of sorts with Jackson.

So Bryant may or may not buy-in. One thing is certain: the Lakers will be different.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Greatest Slam Dunk Contest Champion Ever- Part Two
Tuesday , Sep , 13 , 2011 Paul Eide

Greatest Slam Dunk Contest Champion Ever- Part Two

Read the first part of this article here. In ranking these champions, I want to completely exclude their overall skill as basketball players, and focus solely on their ability to dunk the basketball. Also, I think era in which they were dunking in is very significant, as is height. With those parameters laid out, let me throw the second five names at you, in no particular order. Of these five, I will rank them by reader comments via Hoopsvibe.com, Facebook and private emails. The player who gets the most vote moves into the “Final Four” of great dunkers, from which a mythical champ will be crowned; open wide, here they come!!

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Sunday , Sep , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe’s First Tweet: ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’

His account even offered up an inaugural Tweet: "Can you hear me now?!?!" A pretty weak inaugural Tweet. The account was shut down after that, but it is expected to resume communication at some time in the future. Whether Bryant can bring enough individual effort and personality to Twitter remains to be seen.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Years ago, Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, tried to rap.

You probably remember it. He was featured on a couple of tracks. He may have even put out an album. It was clear, however, that Bryant shouldn’t quit his day gig as an All-World two-guard.

And he didn’t. Thankfully.

Recently, Bryant dropped his first-ever tweet on the micro-blogging platform known as twitter. ‘Can you hear me know?’ was met with very mixed reviews, and Bryant’s people quickly pulled his twitter account.

Bryant will tweet again. Probably soon. Hopefully, his next effort is a little more inspiring.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tracy McGrady’s NBA Legacy – When was he ever underrated?
Tuesday , Sep , 06 , 2011 J.N.

Tracy McGrady’s NBA Legacy – When was he ever underrated?

I’m laughing at the notion. Actually, everyone should be laughing because when the hell was Tracy McGrady ever underrated? We’re not talking about Mark Aguirre underrated here. Aguirre never made all NBA First teams and never averaged 32.1 points per game for a season. McGrady retired two years ago and the T-Mac today is nothing but a rusty old aging robot for the Detroit Pistons. I’m trying to give the idea a thought – was McGrady underrated at any point in his career? 

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Derrick Rose’s Bulls is not “one player away” from winning it all.
Monday , Sep , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Derrick Rose’s Bulls is not “one player away” from winning it all.

Who said that Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls were one player away from winning the title? Anyone saying this over and over again is wrong. What makes you think this? What makes you feel this? The Bulls lack a quality shooting guard. That is true, but that does not make them just one player away. When was the last time this was said about another team? Did LeBron in Cleveland need one more player? What about Dirk’s team or Kobe when the Lakers got Pau?

 

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Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!
Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!

Book it. It’s over. There is no need for the 2012 season even if the lockout ended right now. "Win it all," Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee.” Wow. Interesting. And here we go again. Why must you do this? And why must some of Laker Nation have to front run so much? Why? Dallas Mavericks dominating the Lakers was not enough? You were not entertained?

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