larry-bird
Top Five NBA Hairstyles of the ’90s
Saturday , Oct , 05 , 2013 Paul Eide

Top Five NBA Hairstyles of the ’90s

This week, the makers of NBA 2k14 announced that the digital avatar of LeBron James in the game will feature a receding hairline as they "strive for realism with all of our players."

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: No matter how many how many titles, LBJ just can't seem to get "ahead" of the criticism.

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Top 10 Dirtiest Players in NBA History
Wednesday , Jul , 31 , 2013 Hoopsvibe

Top 10 Dirtiest Players in NBA History

These 10 guys don't just play rough. They play dirty. 

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: These are the guys known for cheap shots, elbows to the face, and intentionally tripping you when no one's looking.

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Jordan vs. Magic vs. Bird at 50-years old. Who wins?
Tuesday , Jul , 23 , 2013 HoopsVibe News

Jordan vs. Magic vs. Bird at 50-years old. Who wins?

Everyone's a baller in their prime, but who would win a game of one-on-one at 50-years old?

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Some skills fade faster than others and by the time these three reached 50-years old this is a completely new game.

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Today In NBA History 1981: “Dr. J” Julius Erving Named MVP
Monday , May , 27 , 2013 Paul Eide

Today In NBA History 1981: “Dr. J” Julius Erving Named MVP

32 years ago today, Dr. J was king.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, making him the only player to win MVP honors in both the NBA and the ABA.

To this day, only a handful of players have revolutionized the entire game, not just the NBA, the way Dr. J did. And not just in terms of on the court success, of which he had plenty, but in terms of personal style. Dr. J was the alpha male of his era and even if you knew nothing about basketball, just seeing the way he floated across the court, told you he was the man everyone else wanted to be.

Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards, and three scoring titles with the ABA's Virginia Squires and New York Nets (now the NBA's Brooklyn Nets) and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. He is the fifth-highest scorer in professional basketball history with 30,026 points (NBA and ABA combined).

And he wasn't just a finesse scoring type of player- Dr J was mean and reflected the era in which he played. Case in point, his fight with Larry Bird:

Erving was inducted in 1993 into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1994, Erving was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the 40 most important athletes of all time.

For crying out loud, the term "slam" dunk was coined to describe the way Erving attacked the rim. Before him, dunking was a practice usually among big men to show their dominance, strength and physicality. There was no art or style to it. The dunk was judged by many as style over substance and unsportsmanlike. Erving, however, changed that misconception and turned the dunk into the most exciting, expressive shot in the game. The "slam dunk" became an art form and came to help popularize the sport.

With no Dr. J, there would be no Michael Jordan, no Charles Barkley, no Kobe, and certainly no LeBron James.

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Top 5 Three-Point Shootouts Ever
Saturday , Feb , 16 , 2013 Paul Eide

Top 5 Three-Point Shootouts Ever

Before tonight's latest installment of the Three-Point Shootout, let's reflect on the five best contests in history.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: If there is anything we've learned, anybody can win, regardless of reputation entering the contest.

Before we get to the list, a quick factoid. Do you know who has the lowest score in contest history? Amazingly, Michael Jordan with five points in 1990. Wowza.

1986- Larry Bird

The first contest ever was basically the beginning of Bird asserting himself as the most successful and entertaining of any three-point contestant ever. Bird made a then-competition record of 11 straight shots. When he won the contest and received his over-sized check, Bird quipped, "That check has had my name on it for a week now." He dominated eventual three time champion Craig Hodges in the final round 22-12 and set the standard for what was expected in ensuing competitions.

1991- Craig Hodges

This contest was arguably the deepest ever, right there with the 1995 version. The field consisted of champ Hodges, Drazen Petrovic (RIP), Dell Curry, Jeff Hornacek, Mitch Richmond, John Stockton, Craig Ehlo and Jim Les. In this contest, Hodges set the all time record for consecutive shots made with nineteen, and looked like a completely unstoppable robot, IE like the T-1000 in the original Terminator.

1988- Larry Bird

Bird only had seven pints with 25 seconds left with two racks remaining but would rebound to win making the final shot and generating the signature image of him extending his index finger as the final, event winning ball went through the net.  Bird beat Dale Ellis 17-15 in the final round and created an indelible image in the process. Poor Dale Ellis. He competed in each of the first three contests and could never beat Bird, who won all three of them.But don't feel too bad for Dale, he eventually won the contest in 1989.

2002/2003- Peja Stojakovic

Peja's two wins were in back to back years, both ending in overtime. both times victorious over Wesley Person, younger bro of "The Rifelman" and fellow three-point alum Chuck Person. In 2002, Peja and Person outlasted Steve Nash in the Finals, tying at 20 before Person lost in the finals en route to Stojakovic's first title. The following year, they tied again in the finals after beating Brent Berry. Stojakovic  would win that math-up as well, winning his second consecutive title. And the fans won by getting to watch an entire extra round of shots being hoisted up.

2007- Jason Kapono

Kapono gets no respect for his back to back titles, because his shot wasn't particularly pleasing to the eye and he was a journeyman as a player. But in 2007 he locked horns with Jason Terry for one of the most exciting competitions in history. Terry fought his way into the finals by winning a shootout with Mike Miller, then tied with Kapono in the Finals to earn an extra session. Both players were hot from start to finish and it was fun to watch. The tiebreaker didn't disappoint either, with Kapono besting Terry 24-19.

For more news, info and updates, follow us on Twitter @hoopsvibe

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Today In NBA History 1993: Larry Bird’s Jersey Retired
Tuesday , Feb , 05 , 2013 Paul Eide

Today In NBA History 1993: Larry Bird’s Jersey Retired

 

20 years ago tonight, the Boston Celtics retired Larry Bird's famous #33 jersey.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: "Larry Legend" is arguably the best player in NBA history.

The occasion of retiring Bird's jersey was so special that they dedicated an entire evening to it, even though there wasn't a game, and sold out the Boston Garden.

The two-hour ceremony gave Bird a proper send off as #33 was forever hoisted to the rafters. The most favorite highlight of that night was when Larry's nemesis Magic Johnson showed up with a Boston Celtics t-shirt under his Lakers warm-up gear, which you can see in the video above.

 

Bird is easily one of the best players in NBA history, if not the absolute best. Just take a quick gander at the career highlights and awards section of his Wikipedia page. Three time champion, two time Finals MVP, three time regular season MVP, 12 time all-star, 1980 Rookie of the Year, 1982 All-Star Game MVP, nine-time All-NBA first team; it just goes on and on.

For as great as he was as a player, he's been equally great in the front office.

Last year, he was named the NBA Executive of the Year. As a coach, with no prior head coaching experience, Bird won NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first season and led the Pacers to back to back Central Division titles, including an NBA Finals birth in 2000. He retired following that season, but was then hired to the Pacers’ front office in 2003, took over for Donnie Walsh in 2008 and ever since has had a huge hand in making the team what it has become.

Bird is the only person to have ever won even the MVP and Coach of the Year award, and the only person to ever add the Executive of the Year award to that stack as well.
 
Where does Bird stack up in your own personal top five NBA players? Remember if it comes down to him versus Michael Jordan, you'll always have at least one option to settle it.
 
Indiana Honors Larry Bird With A Statue
Wednesday , Sep , 05 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Indiana Honors Larry Bird With A Statue

Larry Legend to get a statue at Indiana State.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: How is it possible they don't already have a statue. Afterall, his name is Larry Legend.

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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.
 
 

 

Is Larry Bird The Most Dominant American Sportsman EVER?
Thursday , May , 31 , 2012 Paul Eide

Is Larry Bird The Most Dominant American Sportsman EVER?

“Jordan Vs. Bird” was one of my most cherished Nintendo cartridges ever and it got played to the death.  But if it was “Jordan Vs. Bird- Front Office Executive Edition”, Larry would win every time.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Take: Has there ever been a better player/coach/front office member in any American professional sport than Larry Bird??
On the court, Bird and Jordan were essentially of even skill level and success. But post playing career, it’s obvious who the better front office executive is, as Bird is fresh off winning the NBA Executive of the Year award, while Jordan’s Bobcats are coming off of one of the worst seasons in NBA history.
 
As a pro player, Jordan is one of the few players who could be considered an equal to Larry Legend. Bird is a three time NBA champ, three time NBA MVP, two time Finals MVP, 12 time all-star and one time All-Star Game MVP.
 
As a coach, with no prior head coaching experience, Bird won NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first season and led the Pacers to back to back Central Division titles, including an NBA Finals birth in 2000. He retired following that season, but was then hired to the Pacers’ front office in 2003, took over for Donnie Walsh in 2008 and ever since has had a huge hand in making the team what it has become.
 
Bird is the only person to have ever won even the MVP and Coach of the Year award, and obviously the only person to ever add the Executive of the Year award to that cache. So does that make him the best overall sportsman in American history?
 
Who else could even be considered in the NBA besides Jerry West? Or in any sport? NFL? MLB?
 
Leave your comment below.
 
Photo Credit: AP News 
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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.

Link

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.

Did Michael Jordan play in a watered down era?
Wednesday , Oct , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Did Michael Jordan play in a watered down era?

Recently, I noticed that fans are questioning if Michael Jordan played in a watered down era. The question has been posed time and time again. I do not understand why it gets brought up in the first place. Seriously? WTF? Dude. Stop it. I bet the question came up as a statement when Jordan was dominating the NBA. I would not be surprised if it came from an old timer during Bill Russell’s era. I am shaking my head at this garbage. Today, the question became a meme. Are you trying to discredit Michael with the question? 

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Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Agents want decertification, Derek Fisher wants end to ‘misinformation’

Your agents represent you, there's a loyalty there and I can appreciate that. I'll never question it, the work they do for you, or the decisions you and they make together. The letter however includes misinformation and unsupported theories. (Derek Fisher letter)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The plot thickens.

Eventually the agents would weigh-in on the players, their clients, changing the NBA’s financial system and making major concessions to owners.

For instance, the Ari Gold’s of the NBA don’t want their clients reducing their take of Basketball Related Income from 57-46%.

And they aren’t thrilled with players accepting a hard cap or signing off on a restriction to the number of Larry Bird Loopholes or Mid Level Exceptions a team can offer per year.

So this weekend the six biggest agencies combined forces, writing a letter to players to warn of catastrophic consequences if they agree to the owners’ proposals.

In their letter, the agents instead suggest the players opt for decertification, believing the owners haven’t negotiated in good faith.

This prompted the union’s second-in-command Derek Fisher to send his own letter to the players claiming that the agents are spreading ‘misinformation’.
 
Of course, their timing is impeccable. Tuesday is a key day in negotiations. If owners and players find common ground perhaps there’s a chance the regular season starts on time.

Clearly, the agent’s letter and calls for decertification complicates any chance of a settlement.

--O.Sandor.

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

Comparisons. Vol. Next Bird
Friday , Aug , 26 , 2011 J.N.

Comparisons. Vol. Next Bird

Penny. Kobe. Vince Carter. LeBron. Grant Hill. T-Mac. Kidd. These guys were labeled as the next Jordan or Magic Johnson at one point until their careers played out and we had to resort to this: “Let them be themselves.” It makes sense, but why do the comparisons come up in the first place? I know these discussions are brought up sometimes and people will dismiss them. Understandably so, the debates grow tiresome and repetitive. The search will continue, but not many people question why the issue even arises. 

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Saturday , Aug , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Dream Team better than Redeem Team

"When you think about the Olympics and the Dream Team, I have to throw it to you," Johnson said. "Kobe [Bryant] and them won by 22 points. Ehh, 22 points? We won by an average of 44 points. So when they want to step up to that, you tell them we'll be waiting on them."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Michael, Magic, and Larry or Kobe, LeBron, and D-Wade?

It's a tough question, however, most fans assume the 1992 'Dream Team' that cruised to gold in Barcelona, Spain was the greatest team ever.

Magic Johnson, the point guard for the first American side that allowed professionals to participate in the Olympics, has no problem saying so.

Johnson recently said that the ‘92 squad would handle the 2008 squad, known as 'Redeem Team', that captured gold at the Beijing Olympics in China.

Perhaps.

I don’t buy Johnson’s argument about point differential, though. The former Laker believes the 92 squad’s wide margin of victory solidifies their status as the greatest ever.

However, I do believe the ‘92 squad trumps the ‘08 squad because they handled a terrifically talented and inspired Croatian team in the gold medal game.

--Oly Sandor.

Dream Team or Redeem Team? Well, get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.