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Saturday , Sep , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Joakim Noah and Chicago Bulls close on extension?

After chatter kicked up on Thursday that the Bulls could include Joakim Noah in a possible deal for Carmelo Anthony, ESPN.com's Marc Stein provided some updates on Friday morning.

"Be advised that the Bulls are actually working on something else Noah-related: Getting him locked in for the long term with a contract extension," Stein wrote.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s the second coming of super-utility man Horace Grant, so the Chicago Bulls must re-sign Joakim Noah.

Like Grant, Noah does the little things. He rebounds. He defends. He blocks shots. Best of all, he’s nasty.
Last year, during a blow-out loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Noah took exception to LeBron James turning Quicken Loans Arena into Soul Train with his celebratory dance moves.

So he stepped up.

From the bench, Noah challenged James for his lack of respect. Words were exchanged. The two had to be separated.

Such guts are rare. James is an elite player; a superstar who sits atop the NBA pyramid. Noah still spoke up, earning the respect of teammates and former coach Vinny Del Negro.

Noah will blossom under defensive guru Tom Thibodeau. The first-year sideline boss will use the power forward as a defensive anchor, while encouraging him to contribute on the offensive end.     

First, however, the Bulls and Noah must agree on an extension. Or, like Grant, he could eventually leave as a free agent.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Reggie Miller: Dwyane Wade is Derek Jeter, LeBron James is Alex Rodriguez

Wattage aside, perhaps the Miami Heat’s cast of superheros -- or villains, depending on your point of view -- will not be led by King James. TNT's Reggie Miller said the Heat’s star system is simple: " Dwyane Wade is the Derek Jeter here. LeBron James is the Alex Rodriguez. One of those guys will have to sacrifice, and it will have to be LeBron. This is still Dwyane's team."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Sorry Reggie, but Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are different than Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

First, Wade and James are boys. They wanted to play together. They’ve been scheming on this longer than you’ve been dead weight on TNT’s broadcast staff.

Jeter and Rodriguez aren’t close. They were forced to play together. They tolerate each other. It’s a professional relationship. Nothing more.

Second, basketball is more of a team sport than baseball. In the NBA, truly great players transcend statistics and bring out the greatness in each other.

LeBron will be a Magic Johnson style distributor for the Miami Heat. His points will decrease, but his assists will skyrocket, propelling the Three Kings deep into the playoffs.

This won’t diminish LeBron’s status. It will do the opposite. In the NBA, great players make those around them better and procure championships. They don’t worry about ‘sacrificing’ regular season scoring numbers.

That’s the difference between basketball and baseball.

To be a crème de la crème talent in the NBA, a player must stack Larry O’Brien trophies. It’s the only currency of greatness. It’s the sole measuring stick. So players are willing to work together.

MLB is a numbers game. It’s more an individual sport. A player can be an all-time great if he has ‘his’ statistics. Team success takes a backseat and is less important. 

Wade and LeBron aren’t Jeter and Rodriguez. They’ll make their partnership work. They’ll win. And that’s all that should matter.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq on his beef with Pat Riley: ‘I wasn`t with five hour practices’

Question: While with the Miami Heat, you appeared to have a strained relationship with former Heat coach Pat Riley. What happened?

Shaquille O’Neal (answer): I wasn’t with the five-hour practices. Some people have different mentalities, but I was just coming off three out of four (NBA Finals MVP awards). With the Lakers, Phil (Jackson) treated us like men with 1 ½ -hour practices. I’m a businessman, and I don’t know how other men view me personally, nor do I care. I know what I do and what I have to do.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Once again, Shaquille O’Neal has stuffed his massive foot into his massive mouth. 

Currently, Pat Riley is the architect/lead executive for the Miami Heat. With Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade on the Heat roster, he may fire Coach Erik Spoelstra and return to the sideline.

As Stan Van Gundy can attest, Riles has `un-retired` from coaching once before.

Whatever Riley’s role with the Heat in 2011, O’Neal’s comments have provided The Oil Slick with extra motivation and incentive to defeat the Boston Celtics.

This isn’t wise. A rivalry is already brewing between the Heat and Celtics. And O’Neal is giving the green-and-white’s opponents extra clippings to put on their bulletin board.

So, why is Shaq re-hashing old wounds from his time with Riley in Miami?

If O’Neal really wants to help the Celtics, if he really wants to make an impact, he’ll button his big mouth and focus on filling-in effectively while Kendrick Perkins recovers from injury.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Isiah believes LeBron should have signed with Knicks

"I think -- and I honestly believe this -- it would've been interesting to see if he could have [won a title with the Knicks]," Thomas said. "The curiosity factor, the whole world would've been drawn to watch and see if he could do it. The whole LeBron Knick thing would've piqued everyone's curiosity.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Signing with the New York Knicks would have been a good business decision.

New York is the media capital of the world, so calling Madison Square Garden home would have allowed LeBron James to maximize his brand.

Each day, he could’ve spent a few hours on basketball. After practice or games, he could’ve jumped in his limo, rubbed shoulders with Fortune 500 CEOS, and furthered his business empire.

However, signing with the Miami Heat was a good basketball decision.

The Heat could, and did, attract three superstars because they had the cap space to offer three max contracts. The Knicks could only attract two superstars because they only had the cap space to offer two max contracts.

And that’s why James picked Miami over the New York. He wanted to play with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. Not Bosh or Wade in New York.

More specifically: he wanted to win multiple championships with Bosh and Wade in Miami. Not contend for multiple championships with Bosh or Wade in New York.

Whatever your thoughts on how James left the Cleveland Cavaliers, you can’t fault him for signing with Miami and ignoring New York.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jon Barry: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade less great together

I hate to see two great, great players -- in my mind, two of the top three in the league with he and Wade -- join up. I like seeing them go against each other. We're not going to see the greatness of each player on a nightly basis like we're accustomed to seeing. That's disappointing. But I can't blame LeBron because you're ultimately judged by the number of NBA rings on your finger, and that team is going to be one of the favorites.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s stature won’t decrease because they’re together with the Miami Heat.

If anything, it’s the opposite. Their greatness will increase.

Instead of being a one-man show, instead of making-do with sub-par co-stars, instead of bowing out prematurely in the playoffs year-after-year, James and Wade will play relevant basketball in May and June.

Great players need each other. And great players should bring out the best in each other.

Consider the past. Magic Johnson had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Larry Bird had Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. Isiah Thomas had Joe Dumars. Or vice-versa. And Tim Duncan had David Robinson.

There’s a misconception a great player is only great if he’s leading ‘His Team’. One superstar is the general with eleven other players following.

What a crock.

Even the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan, had considerable help. During their championship run, Scottie Pippen was arguably the second best player in the NBA.

Pippen is a top fifty player of all-time. He’s in the Hall of Fame. He could pass, score, rebound, and finish in the open-court. His athleticism and ability to defend all five positions made him invaluable.

Expect James and Wade to excel together. They’re friends. They engineered this situation. And they’ll bring out the greatness in each other.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Bromance’ saved: Mo Williams wishes LeBron ‘the best’

"Part of me is still sour ... but I wish him the best," Williams said. "He's got enough people rooting against him, he doesn't need one more."

Hours after James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers, Williams tweeted: "We were so damn close. So damn close now we have taken leaps and bounds backwards."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: ‘The Bromance’ is over, but they’re amicable.

For years, LeBron James and Mo Williams were partners-in-crime with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They enjoyed regular season success, but fell short during the playoffs.

Then The Decision hit: James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers for the Heat –on national television. ‘The Bromance’ became strained because Williams, like the city of Cleveland, felt betrayed.

The former backcourt mates and boys are apparently cool. They recently met during a chance encounter at the Cleveland airport. They cleared the air. Williams now accepts and understands ‘Bron’s choice.

The dynamic may change when Miami travels to Cleveland for a game in early December. According to Williams, fans and Cavalier players will be ‘emotional’.

Well, sort of.

James’ old teammates will be ‘emotional’. Fans, however, will be angry. The two-time MVP and Ohio native will face the wrath of Cavalier-nation. And the fallout won’t be pretty.

It’s nice that Williams and James have moved past The Decision. The city of Cleveland won’t follow their point guard’s lead.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Team USA remains undefeated after thrashing Slovenia

The United States beat Slovenia 99-77 for its second lopsided victory in two games and Lithuania also went 2-0, while Angola and China bounced back from opening-day losses to win their first games at the basketball World Championship on Sunday.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s some surprise at how Team USA has fared in international play so far.

After all, Stars and Stripes’ biggest names –Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and others- all said thanks, but no thanks to the FIBA World Championship.

However, this group of youngsters defend, play together, and work hard. They also have budding superstar Kevin Durant, who could soon emerge as the world’s premier player.

On Sunday morning, USA’s air-tight defense got them through a few rough moments, as they cruised to an easy victory over Slovenia. Durant had 22 points before sitting the entire fourth quarter.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami Heat out of Rudy Fernandez and JR Smith sweepstakes

The Heat are unlikely to swing any trades from now until the start of the season, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  J.R. Smith and Rudy Fernandez are available on the NBA trade market. Winderman writes that the Heat don't have many trade chips.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: After a busy summer, the Miami Heat is catching their breath. Translation: Heat executive Pat Riley won’t be swinging a trade anytime soon for Rudy Fernandez or J.R. Smith.

The majority of Heat players are newly signed free agents, who can’t be moved until December 15th. Only Mario Chalmers and Dexter Pittman can be traded.

This could be a positive, though. After a summer of change, the Heat can build chemistry. They can block out rumour and speculation. They know where they`re playing.

For now, The Three Kings and their supporting have cast only have to focus on beating the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose on Chicago playing Miami: ‘my team is ready’

"Fear them (the Heat)? No. If anything, you want to play them. As a ballplayer, you want to play against the best. I know my team is ready to play."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Too often, the NBA resembles a friendly, afternoon pick-up run. Players hug before games. Players exchange pounds. And players laugh and smile.

It seems their union brotherhood takes precedence over winning the game, series, or championship, and it’s enough to make the league’s older generations burn their Chuck Taylors and Converse Weapons in disgust.

Bottom line: the NBA, like sports, needs rivalries, conflict, and heroes and villains.

So, point guard Derrick Rose’s comments are refreshing. He wants the Miami Heat. He wants Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. He wants ‘the best’.

Perhaps, he’s offended The Three Kings passed on signing with the Chicago Bulls this off-season as free agents. Perhaps, he’s competitive. Perhaps, it’s a bit of both.

Chicago-Miami was already must-see television this year. And Rose’s comments are only adding fuel to the fire. Chances are, there won’t be too many hugs, pounds, or smiles when these powers finally meet.

And the NBA will be better for it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Eddie House on Miami: ‘This is going to be Boston on steroids’

"I compare it to the year I went to Boston when the Big 3 got together in 2007," House said. "But this is going to be even bigger. This is going to be Boston on steroids."


HoopsVibe's Very QUick Call: Eddie House, sharpshooter for hire, is in a unique position.

Three years ago, around this time, House signed a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics. His role was simple: hit jump-shots and punish opposing defenses for double-teaming superstars Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce.

Of course, the charismatic journeyman also witnessed the hoopla surrounding the green-and-white’s Big Three. Expectations were high; night-in, night-out, opponents got up for the Celtics.

House is right: the Miami Heat will face even greater pressure in 2010-11 than the Celtics of 2007-08. After all, South Beach pulled off the all-time free agent coup, re-signing superstar Dwyane Wade, while adding Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

Wade and James are two of the NBA’s top four players. Bosh is a perennial All-Star and legit’ 20-10 guy down low.

However, it’s not what they did, but how they did it. Resentment lingers at Miami’s Three Kings for how they handled free agency, especially James for turning ‘The Decision’ into a spectacle.

Now the Heat is public enemy number one. They’re controversial rock stars. Their every move will be chronicled. And many are hoping they fail.

So House’s steroid analogy works. This year should be awfully interesting.  

--Oly Sandor.
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Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade on not signing with Bulls: ‘it had nothing to do with Chicago’

"Whatever jersey I'm wearing, I'm still here," Wade said. "I'm still in the community, I think I'm doing something impactful and bigger than the game of basketball. It had nothing to do with Chicago. It had nothing to do with the Chicago Bulls. It had everything to do with Miami and what we had a chance to do down there."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and the Chicago Bulls would've been nice; however, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and the Miami Heat is better -at least for Dwyane Wade.

So the superstar said thanks, but no thanks to his hometown. This is just another storyline in the developing rivalry between Chicago and Miami.

Both clubs competed for big-ticket free agents this summer. Miami won the battle landing the Three Kings, but Chicago with Carlos Boozer, Noah, and Rose could still win the war for Eastern Conference supremacy.

And Bulls fans will have plenty of chances to heckle Wade for picking Miami over his native Chicago.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: ‘Nobody wanted to make the playoffs more than me’ in Toronto

Chris Bosh has again insisted that he never quit on the Raptors during his time in Toronto. "Nobody wanted to make the playoffs more than me," Bosh told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

"Nobody else wanted to make it more than me, trust me. I put in the work to be successful. I had a turned ankle and I had a broken nose that I had to stay in the hospital for, and I played through it. I know what I put into that organization and what I put into it was everything I had every night."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh has said his piece. The Toronto Raptors have said their piece. All involved must move on.
Nothing is gained by Bosh repeating his stance that he never quit on the Raptors and played hurt. And nothing is gained by the Raptors repeating their stance that he didn't play through pain and had 'checked out'.
Both look petty. Both look bad. And both have bigger fish to fry in 2011.
Bosh is public enemy number one in Miami with fellow Kings LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while GM Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors must focus on fielding a competitive team.   
--Oly Sandor.
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Wednesday , Aug , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Donald Sterling on Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes: ‘I’ve never heard of these guys’

"You know, they told me if we built a new practice facility we'd attract all the top players in the game," Sterling adds. "I guess I should have doubled the size of this place."

He's no different than most Clippers fans. "I swear to you, I never heard of these guys," Sterling says, "but what if the coach says he wants them?"


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Just when you thought James Dolan and the New York Knicks hit a league-low with Isiah-gate, cross-coast cousin Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers set a new low for lameness.

Sterling and his Clippers have always been a laughingstock. And this is again demonstrated by Sterling’s W.P. Kinsella-like vision that ‘if he built his practice facility, he, as in elite free agents, would come’.


Did old man Sterling actually think Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade would line up to play for the Clippers like folks lined up at the end of Field of Dreams because he built a new place to practice?

To quote the great Allen Iverson, ‘we talkin’ bout practice’!  

Facilities play a part in signing the crème de la crème of free agent talent. Winning and sanity trump a shiny, new spot to run wind sprints and pump iron.

Unfortunately, the Clippers have done little winning, despite often having impressive talent. The reason: Sterling lacks sanity.

For instance, last spring, the Clippers’ patriarch fired executive Mike Dunleavy through an Internet letter to fans. Sterling didn’t tell Dunleavy before announcing his decision on the World Wide Web.

Instead of quietly moving forward, Sterling has refused to settle up with Dunleavy and provide an acceptable golden hand shake. The matter is now in court.

Screwing over executives is one thing, but showing up players takes things to a new level.

After all, how hard would it have been for Sterling to bite his tongue and spew out the company line on Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes? 

Sure, neither are superstars. Both can contribute, though. Foye is a legit double-digit scorer, the kind of combo guard every team can use; Gomes is a solid undersized forward, too.

Together, Foye and Gomes will solidify Coach Vinny Del Negro’s bench, giving the Clippers two decent reserve scorers. Best of all, Foye and Gomes took two and three year deals for less than the mid-level exception.

In other words, instead of overpaying free agents, the Clippers preserved cap space and got better.    

Of course, this very simple logic is beyond Sterling. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: I would return to Cleveland

"I don't think he (Dan Gilbert) ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: 'You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You'll get a good sense of their character' Me and my family have seen the character of that man."

"It's not far, but it is far. And Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us...So we didn't actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There's a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day."  

"If there was an opportunity for me to return (to Cleveland) and those fans welcome me back, that'd be a great story."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Where do I begin?

1) There's no defending Dan Gilbert's web-letter slamming LeBron James after 'The Decision'. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner must model professionalism for players and employees to follow. 

However, it takes two sides to wreck a relationship. And James is acting like he did nothing wrong -like he didn't owe Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers a heads up before taking the air and announcing he was heading to 'South Beach'.

2) I get the Akron-Cleveland rivalry. It's a common dynamic between a small and big city. Now isn't the time for James to confess his feelings for Ohio's big city.

3) James doesn't get it. Cavalier-nation is mad. Furious, in fact. There's so much water under the bridge, the river is overflowing and flooding.

Fans will never forgive-and-forget because they feel James deserted them and rubbed their nose in it with The Decision.

Bottom line: James needs new PR people. Recently, he's made several missteps: the one hour ESPN special, the pulled ESPN article in Las Vegas, and now the GQ interview.

James doesn't realize the public is tired of him. He needs to go underground until training camp. No interviews. No magazine covers.

The only way to quell The Backlash is to handle his business on-court and win an NBA Title in 2011. James must remind folks he's a great basketball player first, and everything else - brand, icon, entrepreneur - second.

With all the people whispering in his ear, with all the hoopla over free agency, with all the yes-men in the posse, this has been lost.

So James should get in the gym, put in work, and deliver next season and playoff for Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: ‘I am not worried about the Heat’

When speaking with the media, Rose was about a potential rivalry brewing with the Miami HEAT. ``I am not worried about the HEAT; I am just worried about the Bulls. I know that my team is ready.``


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The late John Wooden would have liked Derrick Rose.

Coach Wooden always told his UCLA teams not to worry about their opponents and to focus on playing, which is the approach Rose is taking with the Miami Heat.

Instead of worrying about Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, instead of worrying about the attention the Heat are getting, Rose is punching the clock, putting in work, and extending his three-point shot.

Of course, this will make him unstoppable.

Rose has always been able to get to the basket. Defenders have such respect for his athleticism they back off him and concede the jumper.

If Rose can consistently knock down three-pointers, defenders won`t be able to back off him,  which will make it easier to penetrate and create scoring opportunities.

The third year point guard should head into 2011 as a pick-your-poison player. And it will be because he took a ‘Wooden’ approach to this summer. 

--Oly Sandor.

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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."


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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Friday , Aug , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh on free agency: ‘I played with people’s emotions’

"If you think about how many times somebody asks you, 'How are you,' that's how many times I was asked, 'Where you going?'" Bosh told the Daily News on Wednesday.  "So it's like, well, in my case, I'm going to have fun with it. I'm going to play with people's emotions. I'm going to be high and low."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: There's no doubt about it.

Chris Bosh had a plan for July 1st. He knew what he was doing.

When free agency hit, the All-Star power forward was bolting on the Toronto Raptors and signing with the Miami Heat, joining fellow superstars and friends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

He executed his plan perfectly, using his rights as a free agent to sign with the team of his chosing. Fair enough. Just don't play 'with people's emotions' and don't brag about it afterwards.

Bosh should remember Karma is a mo-fu. For instance, Vince Carter kicked the Toronto Raptors after his trade to the New Jersey Nets, telling John Thompson he didn't always try and give a full effort.

Carter's career has never recovered. He stumbled with the Nets, and he struggled with the Orlando Magic in 2010.

If there's justice, Bosh will reap a touch of what he has recently sown.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley on LeBron: ‘the one hour decision was a punk move’

``If Lebron is taking mental notes of everyone who is taking shots at him this summer, put me on top of your list!  I thought the one hour decision was a punk move.   I thought the dance in Miami was a punk move and I was very disappointed that he left Cleveland to join D.Wade's team."  (quote from Mike Greenberg`s ESPN morning show)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Charles Barkley, how do you really feel?

The TNT broadcaster and Hall of Fame power forward has been rather outspoken in his criticism of LeBron James. Barkley didn’t like that James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. He also didn’t like how he left.

The Round Mound of Rebound’s latest comments came in response to James tweeting that he’s taking ‘mental notes’ on all his enemies, and wants revenge.

Two points are worth noting.

First, Barkley, a former regular season MVP, is wrong to knock James for joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South beach.

James is at his best when facilitating instead of averaging 30 points per night. He’s more Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Oscar Robertson than, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. As a facilitator, he needs great players like Wade and Bosh.

At least, James will sacrifice to win. Years ago, a certain four-man’s ego forced Pippen off Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston squad, and compromised the Rockets’ chances of winning another NBA Title.

Sound familiar Chuck?

That said, there’s no excuse for how James left Cleveland. There’s no justification for him treating the folks who raised, loved, and supported him so badly.

Second, this again proves that The Decision created The Backlash. The ‘heat’ James is taking is self-induced. His tweet about ‘taking mental notes’ forced Barkley to comment.

Just like The Decision - his hour long ESPN special where he broke up with Cleveland for Miami - prompted the state of Ohio to burn his jerseys, while the rest of America named him public enemy number one.

If The Decision doesn’t happen, The Backlash doesn’t happen.

Perhaps James should take his mental notes silently. Perhaps Barkley should just be silent. Unfortunately, there’s zero chance of either happening.

--Oly Sandor.

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Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.
Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 J.N.

Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Jeff 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.” A long time friend brought to my attention regarding this comment about Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat. I’ve caught this awhile back and needed time to ponder about such a notion. You guys do realize that in order to break the record, the team can only lose nine games, right? Count that again – 9 games. Seriously.

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Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James is ‘taking notes of everyone taking shots at me’

Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James is taking notes, keeping score, and wants revenge on those who spoke out against ‘The Decision’ to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

Please. ‘The Backlash’ to ‘The Decision’ was avoidable.

Suppose James dispensed with the dog and pony show known as free agent wooing, privately broke up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and signed with the Miami Heat on July 1st.

Suppose he held a presser in South Beach, where he respectfully explained his choice to join the Heat and not re-sign with the Cavaliers. Suppose he thanked Cleveland, Akron, and Ohio.

Of course, there’d be some backlash. There’d be some talk of his diminished legacy. There’d be some talk of his shortcomings as a player. And there’d be some talk of him turning his back on the state that raised him.

Life would eventually go on, though. And the backlash wouldn’t become ‘The Backlash’.

By going on ESPN, by hiring Jim Gray, by playing with the hearts and minds of Cavalier fans, James instigated and asked for the criticism. 

‘The Decision’ created ‘The Backlash’. The sooner James realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.

--Oly Sandor.

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