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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Sources: Wolves, Blazers, Lakers to swap Beasley, Crawford, Blake?

Lakers getting Beasley, Jamal Crawford to Minnesota and and Steve Blake to Portland is getting close, the News Mitch Lawrence reports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If reports are true, this three team deal will soon be official.

While not a blockbuster, the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Portland Trail Blazers would all benefit from this swap of useful parts. Here is why:

1) The big winner would to be the Lakers. Beasley, a terrific scorer, would allow Metta World Peace to return to the bench.

2) Jamal Crawford would provide the Wolves with scoring and depth because Ricky Rubio is, of course, injured.

3) Blake, who has had two previous stints with the Blazers, would stablize the one-spot in Rip City.

Expect this deal to soon become official. All three teams will get a boost for the stretch drive.

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Monday , Mar , 12 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics, Lakers discussed Rondo for Gasol swap?

The Lakers and Boston Celtics hate each other, an animosity that extends into the front offices of the two teams. Not really. The teams talked last week about a trade for Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, though nothing was close to accomplished and discussions dried up.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The rumors don’t die. They multiply.

For months, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been testing the trade market for table-setter Rajon Rondo and post Pau Gasol.

The Celtics and Lakers had little luck finding a deal to their liking, so these great rivals recently discussed a Rondo for Gasol swap.

Yes, Rondo for Gasol. Straight.

(For the record, such cooperation would make former Celtics and Lakers like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy puke.)

The Celtics shouldn’t make this move -unless the tales of Rondo’s diva behaviour are true. The Kentucky alum’ is young, productive, and, can dominate without taking a single shot. Most importantly, he covers up for an aging Big Three.

Gasol has a world class skill-set. However, the green-and-white would be wise to keep Rondo.

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

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Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Khloe and Lamar disagree on her brother bringing ‘whores’ to house

The new couple, who tied the knot in September 2009, currently have a houseguest – Khloe’s younger brother, Rob — and Khloe said she’s none too happy to be living with family again after leaving the nest. “Lamar’s the one who invited him to stay – I was like, not for it,” Khloe told Access. “I was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ He has whores over! He’s just like, a gross little kid.”

“He doesn’t have whores over?!” Lamar interjected. “Yeah, that’s because he’s not allowed to have whores over, but trust me…,” Khloe added. “I don’t want a 24-year-old wild kid at my house when I’m a married girl with my husband and we just want our time. I don’t want these little skanks coming over.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: HoopsVibe is pretty sure this isn’t news.

However, some are interested in the life of Mr. and Mrs. Khloe Kardashian. Those folks will be entertained by Lamar Odom defending brother-in-law and housemate Rob Kardashian’s choice in women.

To recap: Lamar, the star reserve for the L.A. Lakers, thinks Rob doesn’t bring ‘whores’ (his words) to the house, while Khloe thinks Rob doesn’t bring ‘whores’ and ‘skanks’ (her words) to the house only because she won’t allow it.

Oh, that clarifies things.

Sadly, Khloe and Lamar have a successful reality show. You'll have to watch to find out what other meaningful and worthwhile discussions they'll have.

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

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Wednesday , Feb , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Andrew Bynum unhappy?

He complained about his lack of playing time, his lack of touches and the Lakers' lack of effort. I was out there playing hard, man," Bynum said. "In the second half, I didn't really get in the game."

Bynum played only 23 minutes 8 seconds. He scored nine points, shooting only six times, making three. In the second half, Bynum played 8:07, and not at all in the fourth quarter. He scored one point after halftime, and got only one shot.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s the difference between mediocrity and greatness.

When Andrew Bynum is injured, struggling, or frustrated, the Lakers are vulnerable against bigger, athletic teams. Like, say, the Charlotte Bobcats.

On Monday, Team Jordan had their way with the purple-and-gold, dominating the paint in a blow out victory over the Lakers. 

While Bynum’s complaints about minutes and touches aren’t reason to panic, Coach Phil Jackson must keep Bynum happy. His well-being, both physical and mental, must be monitored.

After all, Bynum was involved in some viral gossip last week –the Lakers and Denver Nuggets reportedly discussed swapping the seven-footer for Carmelo Anthony. 

When Bynum is relatively healthy and focused, the Lakers are a tough match-up because of his size. Few teams can handle a frontcourt of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Bynum.

For instance, Bynum, even with a wonky knee, was too much for the Boston Celtics to handle in game seven of the NBA Finals. His frame, length, and wingspan were key to the Lakers winning the championship.

To have any chance at a thee-peat, the Lakers need a healthy and happy Bynum. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Jan , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams on free agency: ‘I won’t be doing The Decision’

"What I've learned is, you don't go on TV and do The Decision." Williams said the other night in Newark, after the Jazz lost to the Nets. "So I won't be doing 'The Decision."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Add Deron Williams to the list of NBA superstars who have learned from LeBron James’ free agent follies.

There will be no soap opera, world tour, or sequel to The Decision. Williams is a top table-setter, and where he decides to spend the next portion of his career will be dramatic enough. ( For the record: Williams can become a free agent in July of 2012.)

Just a hunch: he won't stay with the Utah Jazz.

Williams is as competitive as Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant. He hates losing and the Jazz, while usually competitive, never have the pieces to win a championship.

Unfortunately, the small market Jazz will always the lack the resources to add premier talent, especially when compared to larger markets like the New York Knicks or L.A. Lakers.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement may level the playing field for small market clubs like Utah, but then there’s Salt Lake City. Superstars typically prefer bigger, sexier locations to maximize endorsements.

This will be too much for the Jazz to overcome. So it's how, not if, Williams leaves.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Dec , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic talking to Washington Wizards about Arenas?

According to sources, talks have resurfaced between the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards regarding a potential trade for guard Gilbert Arenas.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Like Anthony Robbins, the NBA is all about personal power -or the power of personal relationships. 

The Orlando Magic is the only team interested in controversial Washington Wizards’ guard Gilbert Arenas. The reason: Magic GM Otis Smith is a friend, mentor, and confidante to Arenas. 

In short, he still believes. Smith thinks Arenas, in the right circumstance, can recapture his past form and excel as a co-star next to super-post Dwight Howard.

 Perhaps he’s right. New scenery can do wonders.

However, Arenas has taken a great physical and emotional pounding. The knee surgeries have changed him. So has the fallout and suspension from bringing guns into the Wizards locker room. 

A new team, even one with a chance at a championship, may not be enough. 

But the Magic may have no other choice. Howard needs help if they are to compete with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs for a championship.

 Friendship may result in Smith gambling on Arenas.

 --Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Nov , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: ‘ready to defend’ Olympic gold in 2012

Kobe Bryant has told United States basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski that he'll play in the 2012 Olympics in London if the program wants him there.

Bryant was a guest on Krzyzewski's SIRIUS XM radio show Tuesday when the Duke coach asked the Lakers' star about London. "You guys want me there, I am there and I'm ready to defend," Bryant said. "And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board, I'll do that, too."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Unlike his superstar peers, Kobe Bryant gets it.

The greatest basketball player in the world gets the importance of representing his country on the world’s greatest stage.

There’s no half-hearted excuse. There’s no phantom injury. And, most importantly, there’s no BS.

He's 'there' and ready to defend.

With Bryant donning the stars-and-stripes, Team USA will be favoured to repeat as Olympic Champions in London.

After all, they have the scheme. Coach Mike Krzyewski, through preaching discipline and teamwork, led an undermanned American squad to first place at this summer’s FIBA World Championship.

Of course, Bryant was injured. If healthy, he’d have played.

So expect Coach K and the powers that be at Team USA to accept Bryant’s offer.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Oct , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lamar Odom upset technical fouls will cost more

Lakers forward Lamar Odom isn't happy with the NBA's stricter rules on issuing technical fouls.

Players and coaches will now be docked $2,000 for each of their first five technical fouls. The cost rises to $3,000 for the next five, followed by $4,000 for Nos. 11-15. Starting at 16, players are suspended one game for every two technicals, along with a $5,000 fine for each.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom will live.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward earns $8 million per season, while his chubby-cheeked better half, Khloe Kardashian, is also a multi-millionaire because of her reality TV exploits.

Of course, Odom can afford to pay more for eve a technical foul. Like most NBA players, he’ll now think twice before challenging a referee’s call.

So chalk one up for Commissioner David Stern and the suits at NBA head office. Clearly, the powers that be want to limit players protesting each and every whistle like the Third Estate during the French Revolution.

Past efforts –like empowering referees to call more technical fouls - failed because there weren’t appropriate consequences and stiff deterrents. 

Now the players will pay. Literally. This is the best – and, perhaps, only - way to return power to referees.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Sep , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Can Durant and Thunder stop Kobe and Lakers from three-peating?

Coupled with the stiff resistance that the Thunder offered the Lakers last spring, the coming of age of both of these players bodes well for the immediate and long-range success of the Oklahoma City Thunder ... That leaves Dallas and Oklahoma City as the Lakers' only viable competition.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, the Oklahoma City Thunder is on the rise.

The upstart franchise pushed the world champion Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 Western Conference Quarter-Finals. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City’s best players, have represented USA well at the FIBA World Championships.   

So the student, the Thunder, is learning. However, they aren’t ready to challenge the master in 2011, the Lakers. After all, the purple and gold has improved, too.
 
For instance, Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol have spent this summer getting healthy; a leaner, meaner Ron Artest will have another year in the triple-post; and Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, and Theo Ratliff will bring consistency to the second-unit.

The Lakers are primed for a three-peat. In 2011, the Thunder won’t be ready to stop them.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Sep , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lakers’ Ron Artest to speak to kids about mental health struggles

L.A.-area congresswoman Grace Napolotano is the sponsor of a federal bill (HR 2531) (HR 2531) which aims to establish a law that “provides for comprehensive school mental health programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and age appropriate.”

Napolitano has reportedly called upon Artest to speak to children at an East L.A. school on Thursday to raise awareness about the federal legislation she’s sponsoring.  Artest will talk to the kids about his own struggle with mental issues and his willingness to not only seek treatment, but go public with that fact.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s unconventional but could work.

Sure, Ron Artest has an ‘interesting’ reputation, but the lockdown defender – provided he’s given guidelines and censors himself - could inspire these kids.

After all, Artest conquered his demons, bought into the Los Angeles Lakers’ system, won an NBA Championship, and, 'best of all', dropped an epic victory interview that entertained the masses.

(Nicely done Artest!)

From Tha Malice In Tha Place to role model. What an unbelievable ride for Ron-Ron.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should Lakers let Bynum play at 2010 Olympics?


Andrew Bynum has said he would like to play in the Olympic Games in 2012.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers training staff must be cringing.

Credit Andrew Bynum for wanting to represent his country in London at the summer Olympics; however, the giant seven-footer has a history of injury and health problems.

Over the last three seasons, Bynum has suited up for an average of 50 games. And he seems to play with constant pain –like in the 2010 NBA Finals when he fought through significant knee troubles.

So Bynum’s body is rarely right. And repping for stars and stripes at an international tournament, while honourable, would tax his already fragile body.

Suppose Bynum plays in London. Suppose he tweaks a knee, groin, or back. How would owner Jerry Buss, teammates, and Laker-nation feel?

Buss may want a refund on the lucrative four-year, $60 million contract he signed him to. Teammates, who have supported him through an up-and-down career, would surely be frustrated.

And some fans would feel angry because they always stood by Bynum –like the time he was photographed at the Playboy mansion when he was supposed to be rehabbing an injury. 

The Olympics are a nice thought, but one Bynum and Lakers can probably do without.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant measured by championships, not scoring

The odometer keeps rolling. Now that Kobe Bryant's turned 32, how much of a decline can we expect in his game over the next few seasons? [When Michael] Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls late in the 94-95 season -- at 32 -- he'd played only 778 NBA regular season and playoff games. By comparison, Kobe Bryant has already played a whopping 1,219 games, 57% more than Jordan at the same age. Kobe is clearly the NBA version of a Ferrari with high mileage. ... Bryant's stats have also dipped in several categories in the last five seasons: --Scoring per game: 35.4, 31.6, 28.3, 26.8, to 27.0 last season. --Free throw attempts per game: 10.2, 10.0, 9.0, 6.9, 7.4. --Minutes per game: 41.0, 40.8, 38.9, 36.1, 38.8.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: His numbers don't matter. Their numbers do.

The days of measuring Kobe Bryant's greatness by individual statistics are done. Instead, Black Mamba should be measured by championships he wins with the L.A. Lakers.

Nothing more.

The great ones, the creme de la creme of NBA talent, worry about one thing: the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Like it or not, Bryant's five championships put him on par with Magic Johnson. Another championship means he's in the conversation with Michael Jordan.

And when it's all said and done, total championships - not scoring, free throw attempts, and/or minutes - will be the real indicator of Bryant's greatness.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , Aug , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: beating Celtics in Finals was ‘enjoyable’

"It's more special because it was the hardest one to get," he said. "The Celtics are a great, great team. They gave us a challenge. I think that's what makes it so enjoyable."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, it had to be sweet.

After all, Kobe Bryant didn`t just win the NBA Title -he beat the arch rival Boston Celtics in a seventh game thriller to capture consecutive championships and the fifth Larry O’Brien trophy of his career.

This was necessary for Bryant to be an all-time great Laker. He had to beat the storied Celtics. And he had to redeem himself and the Lakers’ for their 2008 NBA Finals loss to those same Celtics.

Bryant responded, preserving through bouts of poor shooting, numerous injuries, and the green-and-white’s air-tight defense.

All that’s left is for Bryant to enter MJ territory with a three-peat next summer.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Aug , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Karl Malone ‘delivers’ prediction for 2011: ‘I pick the Lakers’

At the Hall of Fame on Friday, Karl Malone said he thinks the Lakers will win another title, and Scottie Pippen isn't even sure the Heat will make the NBA Finals.

"I would say this: With the guys they got, they're going to be a hell of a team," Malone said of Miami. "I pick the Lakers."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Mailman delivered a prediction Friday night.

While getting inducted into the James Naismith Hall of Fame, Karl Malone told reporters the Los Angeles Lakers would win the 2011 NBA championship, toppling the star-studded Miami Heat.

The former Utah Jazz great also took issue with how LeBron James left Cleveland, saying “The way it went down, I'm not into that."

Fair points.

After all, to be the champion, you got to beat the champion. And the Lakers are the two-time defending champions. They also improved this summer, shoring up their inconsistent bench by signing solid role players like Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, and Theo Ratliff.

James deserves criticism for turning the free agent process into a reality TV spectacle, treating the cities of Cleveland and Akron like they'd agreed to be bachelors and bachelorettes in a damn rose ceremony.  
 
Malone’s feelings are typical of old school greats, who don’t like the way the Heat assembled their roster. Fair or not, these greats are siding with fans, and viewing The Three Kings as villains for 2011.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Aug , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: Heat will ‘break single-season win record’ of 72

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72]," Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.

"They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected," Van Gundy added. "There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  The only thing that matters is winning the NBA championship.

The Chicago Bulls' single-season mark of 72 games and the L.A. Lakers' 33-game winning streak are meaningless if the Miami Heat fail to win the Larry O'Brien trophy come June.

Nothing else matters. Nothing else will do. The Heat's Big Three were assembled to win it all; the blending pieces were specifically signed because they could help achieve this goal.

Jeff Van Gundy is right on one thing, though: the Heat are indefensible. However, their own defense will determine their playoff success.

After all, the Boston Celtics and Lakers have again shown that getting stops, specifically on the road, is the most important tool in winning a championship.

So regular season records are nice. Championships and defence are what matters for Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Aug , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Shaq about to become The Big Euro?

Sources have indicated he's even tested the market in Europe trying to land one last $10 million payday. But all of that is unlikely. Indeed, the Cavs may consider re-signing Shaq to a short deal that would pay him $5 million-$7 million and wait for a contender to get desperate to match up with the Lakers or Magic.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Shaquille O'Neal probably won't cross the Atlantic Ocean, sign in Greece, Italy, or Spain, and become 'The Big Euro'.

Yes, O'Neal is going through a messy divorce. Yes, O'Neal's sponsorship money has probably dried up due to the economy and his decreased production on-court. And yes, O'Neal could use another massive pay day.

But legacy is more important to O'Neal than money. Like Kobe Bryant, he wants a fifth championship. Like the Three Kings in Miami, he craves and loves the American spotlight.

Neither of these goals can be achieved abroad. Winning in Greece, Italy, or Spain wouldn't compare to winning an NBA Title; the press and attention would be different, too.

Of course, this could all be a ploy. Perhaps Shaq is flirting with Europe to improve offers stateside with NBA teams.

Whatever decision O'Neal makes, one thing is clear: the end is near. His next move could be his last, so he should pick wisely.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jun , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No surprise Kobe Bryant wants Raja Bell on Lakers

Kobe Bryant has become a strong advocate for Bell, a former nemesis. After missing most of the season with surgery to repair ligaments in his non-shooting wrist, Bell is still expected to be a coveted bench player among contending teams.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: No surprise here.

Sure, Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell engaged in a bloody war when the Los Angeles Lakers met the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 Western Conference Quarter-Finals. And sure, they exchanged elbows on-court and insults off-court.

However, these two squashed their beef following that memorable playoff. Bryant and Bell use the same agency, so their paths were bound to cross and when it did they discovered they liked each other.

And Bell would be perfect for the purple-and-gold. He can defend. He can knock down three-pointers. And his intensity would ensure complacency does set in.

Best of all, Bell would make the Lakers’ nasty defense nastier. He could come off the bench to form a terrific stopper unit with Ron Artest, Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom.

Expect these former foes to continue their new found friendship as teammates. And the strong, the two-time world champion Lakers, will be even stronger in 2011.

Got thoughts on Bell and Bryant joining forces? 

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Tuesday , Jun , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest: ‘Boston sucks, Boston sucks’

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The inevitable happened at the Los Angeles Lakers' championship parade on Monday.

Ron Artest - who was amazing in the all important game-seven and was even better in a celebratory interview with Doris Burke - got his hands on a microphone.

Of course, Artest, in his role as MC, showed love to teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. And of course, he couldn't resist taking a shot at the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

Watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Ron-Ron's message for the green-and-white.   

 Got thoughts?