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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."

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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."

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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?"

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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’.

Seriously?

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.``

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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."

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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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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."

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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!

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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.

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

 

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Tuesday , Aug , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Obama’s hoops for troops, featuring LeBron, D-Wade, and Magic

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Being the President of the United States has perks.  Sure, there's a floundering economy, two wars, and an oil spill, but you do cool things for your birthday.

For instance, this weekend President Obama turned 49. He's a hoops fan, so naturally the Commander in Chief invited LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Dwyane Wade, Bill Russell, and others to Washington for a pick-up run to entertain wounded soldiers.

After the game, they had a barbeque at the White House. Pretty cool! Click the link and watch a news report on Obama's hoops for troops.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will ‘Melo pull a ‘LeBron’ on Denver?

Carmelo Anthony may soon face the same predicament close friend LeBron James was in -- playing for a club good enough to compete but not to win a championship. We all know what choice LeBron made, and Anthony could make a similar decision next year. Anthony has been long rumored to favor the Knicks, who didn't waste their remaining salary cap money on lesser free agents, choosing to save the cash. The Nuggets stayed relatively quiet in the offseason besides the additions of Al Harrington and Shelden Williams, and they don't look dramatically different from the team that lost in the first round to Utah in May. Unless the Nuggets make some dramatic moves over the next 12 months, they risk losing Anthony for nothing.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It could happen.

Carmelo Anthony could leave as a free agent. The Nuggets could get nothing back. And the city of Denver could get angry with Anthony like Cleveland did with LeBron James.

However, two things work in the Nuggets' favour. First, there isn't a crew of superstars to lure him from Denver. The New York Knicks have cap space, Amar'e Stoudemire, and play in the media capital of the world.

They don't have a once in a generation swingman like Dwyane Wade, though.

Second, a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is coming next summer, likely before Anthony hits free agency. The new CBA will surely give teams' greater power in retaining top free agents because owners are frustrated with the leverage superstars have.

So Anthony may have to sacrifice significant money and/or term to leave Denver for the New York Knicks.

This could still happen. Anthony could also decide to take the most money available and re-sign with the Nuggets

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

 

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Saturday , Aug , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘The Decision Part Deux’, featuring Anthony Tolliver as LeBron James

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: When reading today's NBA news, you surely thought who is Anthony Tolliver? And why should I care if he's now with the Minnesota Timberwolves?

Well, you're not alone.

Yesterday, Tolliver signed with the lowly Wolves. It wasn't where he signed, but how he signed that made news. He announced his contract in a spoof to LeBron James, creating a short video called The Decision Part Deux.

Somehow, the news he was taking his talent 'north' didn't result in Warrior fans burning his jersey, his former owner pulling a Dan Gilbert and publishing a nasty letter on the club's website, or Jesse Jackson making comparisions that sparked a national outcry.

Nevertheless, The Decision Part Deux is still amusing. Watch the video and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Cleveland and Miami feeling The LeBron Effect

Edgardo Defortuna, head of Fortune International Realty, says the LeBron effect is real but hard to quantify. He says 49 units at Icon Brickell have sold since LeBron's announcement, and July sales for downtown were nearly double the number in June. "I've had friends from South America call and tell me they'll buy an apartment," he says, "but only if I can find them Heat tickets first."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Cleveland hates him. Miami loves him. Just not for the obvious reason.

Sure LeBron James’ migration from Ohio to Florida will impact the Cavaliers and Heat’s on-court fortunes. The Cavs’ are now rebuilding; the Heat are now contenders.

Forget wins and losses. Forget the standings, playoffs, and quest to dethrone the two-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers.

James’ greatest impact may be on the Cleveland and Miami economies. After all, The King guarantees a sold-out building, which also means busy restaurants and pubs, full hotels, and, most importantly, the national spotlight.

Cleveland lost all of that. Their loss is Miami’s gain.

The Heat have already filled their building for the year. South Beach is buzzing. And now there are reports the struggling Florida real estate market is heating (pardon the pun) up.

All of this magnifies the poor manner in which James handled his free agency. Cleveland and Miami will be feeling the impact - good or bad - of The Decision for years to come.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Aug , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Heat play Cavs on December 2nd

TNT will televise the first return of LeBron James to Cleveland in the uniform of the Miami Heat. The game will take place on December 2nd. Miami will also travel to Cleveland on March 29th.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On December 2nd, The King will return to his former Kingdom. And it will be awkward.
 
In early December, the Cleveland Cavaliers will 'welcome' LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Remember, James played seven seasons with the Cavs' before announcing on ESPN he was signing with the Heat.
 
Expect a spectacle. Expect fireworks. Expect an outpouring of hate.
 
Of course, James didn't help matters when he took out an ad in an Akron paper to thank the city of Akron. There was no mention of Cleveland or the Cavaliers.
 
Ouch!
 
And the James saga will take another turn in four months when he re-appears at Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cavaliers.
 
--Oly Sandor. 
 
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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and agency recruiting amateurs at camp?

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that LeBron James and his firm LRMR enjoy direct and open access to prospects at the high school and college levels.

James is permitted to hold camps with prospects who will become pros within a year while at the same time essentially recruiting them to sign with his firm.

At James' Nike camp in Akron in July, all the top high school players and college standouts were present but it seemed agents were not allowed in the building.

Maverick Carter, James' best friend who is the CEO of LRMR, was in attendance. James gave the players free shoes and met their families.

Link

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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zydrunas Ilgauskas shows Cleveland love

Although he has moved on to Miami in search of the NBA Championship that eluded him here, former Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has not forgotten the fans or city that welcomed and supported him for the majority of his career.

In an ad published in today's Plain Dealer, Z thanks the fans and city for their support.  While saying that Cleveland will always be his home, Ilgauskas asks for understanding as he chases his dream of a ring.


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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The transplant passed. The native son failed.

On Sunday, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a European immigrant, thanked Cleveland for the last fourteen years by writing a letter to  fans in a local paper.

His words were genuine, sincere, and gracious.

Ilgauskas's letter couldn't have come at a better time.The Cavaliers, city of Cleveland, and state of Ohio are still reeling from local boy LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat, and breaking the news on ESPN.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Heat sales team fired after Bosh, LeBron, and Wade sell out stadium

With the arrival of Lebron James, the Miami Heat rapidly sold out all their season tickets. That turned out to be bad news for the ticket-sales staff, which was fired Friday. In a statement, the Heat confirmed the dismissals Friday afternoon, saying that with an ``exhausted'' inventory of season-tickets ``we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.'' Stephen Weber, vice president of sales, delivered the news to about 30 ticket sales people Friday morning, according to one of the staffers who asked not to be named because he is seeking another job in sports.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On the one hand, this hardly seems fair. The Miami Heat's sales staff gets rewarded for selling out the stadium with a pat on the back and a pink slip.

On the other hand, the fragile economy means teams must cut costs wherever possible, so extra staff - like the Heat’s sales team – is a thing of the past.

The optics of such a move isn’t good, though. The public will be disgusted.

They'll wonder how the Heat can afford max' contracts worth approximately $330 million for Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, but can't afford $30 thousand without benefits for some dude trying to make ends meet.

Of course, the Heat is already public  enemy number one, and pulling an Ebenezer Scrooge on their sales staff won’t help.

Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mikhail Prokhorov supports LeBron James and The Decision

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is odd. Russian oligarchs usually don't take losing so well.

However, Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the New Jersey Nets, released the following letter supporting LeBron James' decision to sign with the Miami Heat.

Yes, supporting.

Apparently, Russia's richest man is over losing the LeBron free agent sweepstakes. 

'The players are signed, the "Decision" is made, but the passions around this year's extraordinary class of NBA free agents refuses to die down. What surprises me is the amount of negative commentary directed at the three top free agents (especially LeBron James) who decided to play on the same team and to create a great franchise together. Of course, any club owner dreams of having those players, including me, but all questions of how the announcements were made aside, I respect their choice, and no one has the right to judge them.

I want to say that I support LeBron, the best athlete in the NBA. He had a truly difficult choice to make. Any move he made was sure to be viewed as wrong, and to leave many unhappy fans. Basing his decision on achieving results on the basketball court shows that the sportsman won the day, not the showman or the businessman. What is wrong with that?

We are seeing the birth of a new, dynamic team with such star players, and all of us can await the new season with great anticipation. I wish them success and give them my moral support. I will be happy for us to beat the Miami Heat in the conference finals, maybe not this season, but in the very near future.'

-- Oly Sandor.

Link

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Friday , Jul , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No ‘different’: Bosh treated Toronto like Carter, McGrady, and Stoudamire

Bosh, who left for the Heat earlier this month, responded to allegations made by Colangelo on Toronto radio station FAN 590 that claimed the All-Star was "checked out" late last season and chose not to play some of the Raptors' final games.

"I play this game as hard as I can every time I step on the court," Bosh said. "On the back of my jersey it says 'Bosh' ... The Boshes are hard workers. We have a lot of pride in what we do, in our jobs and in life."

"Everybody thinks, 'Oh, he was gone as soon as the season was over,' " he said. "It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. As different as another country is, it was still home for me. I had been there for seven years."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: You'll forgive Toronto Raptor fans for rolling their eyes after reading Chris Bosh's latest comments.

Bosh tried to clarify a few things in an interview with ESPN: he denied GM Bryan Colangelo's claim he went Vince Carter on the Raptors and quit; he also denied accusations he was always going to leave as a free agent; and, most importantly, he swears nothing was meant by calling Toronto 'different'.

The power forward told ESPN he, like Toronto, was 'different'.  How could that be bad, right?

Raptor-nation will agree Bosh is 'different'. The tune he's now singing is indeed 'different' than the mood and attitude he projected in late June and early July.

A month ago, Bosh – like a kid on Christmas Eve - couldn't wait for free agency. He had no reservations, concerns, or second thoughts about ditching Toronto to join free agent buddies LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in a big American market.

For instance, his constant tweets, documentary film making aspirations, and regular television appearances with Wade and then James rubbed salt in a stinging wound for Raptor fans.

Only after his signing, only after the smoke had cleared and the backlash had begun, did Bosh reach out to the city that embraced him for seven years.

The most disappointing part is that Bosh was supposed to be 'different'. He was supposed to be 'different' than superstars Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Damon Stoudamire, who crapped on Toronto when leaving.

In the end, Bosh wasn't different'.  Sure, his words were 'different' than the tone VC, T-Mac, and Stoudamire struck when exiting, but his actions were, unfortunately, the same.

Aren't actions, not words, what really matter? Aren't actions what people should be judged by?
 
So forgive Raptor-nation for rightfully rolling their eyes at Bosh.

--Oly Sandor.

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