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Monday , Mar , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: Wade and LeBron aren’t worthy rivals

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has always been lauded for his self-motivation and drive to be the best. It's a good thing he has that internal ambition, because according to Bryant, he's gone through his 16-year career without a true rival on the exterior to push him to succeed. "I didn't have one," Bryant said after scoring 38 points in the Lakers' 115-107 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, Kobe Bryant, tell us how you feel?

Bryant has every right to say he measures himself against Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, and not LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Bryant, like Jordan and Johnson, won many championships, while James and Wade combined have one championship.

And Bryant played seven seasons in the NBA before James and Wade were drafted as part of the highly touted 2003 class.

This wasn’t about hoisting the Larry O’Brien championship trophy, though. This was about an edge -as Bryant’s Lakers faced James and Wade’s Heat in a much-hyped nationally televised game.

Fans were especially curious to see how Bryant would respond to Wade’s hard foul during the 2012 All-Star game in Orlando.

Bryant, in typical Black Mamba fashion, took no offense to the foul, which broke his nose and gave him a concussion. He simply proved his point by leading the Lakers to a 93-83 win over the Heat.

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

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Monday , Mar , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in Back-Up Big Man?

There’s a reason the Heat have continued to look to add a veteran big man to their roster. They attempted to sign both Kenyon Martin and Joel Przybilla but weren’t able to do so. A radio station in Miami reported the team worked out Rasheed Wallace last week. According to league executives, the Heat have been calling around to gauge demand for reserve big men as the trade deadline approaches.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will the rich, the Miami Heat, get richer?

Reports indicate the reigning Eastern Conference champions are on the prowl for a reserve post. Chris Bosh is out the line-up and the Heat lost free agents Kenyon Martin and Joel Przybilla to the Clippers and Blazers.

Another big body would allow Bosh to man the more familiar high-post when he returns, while providing depth for an extended playoff run.

After all, the Heat will face a plethora of bigs come May and June during the NBA’s second-season. The question is who can they get before the quickly approaching trade deadline.  

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

 

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Saturday , Mar , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Hakeem Olajuwon: LeBron can get even better

"I knew he recorded everything we worked on," Olajuwon said. "I know he's practiced it. I can see that. But the comfort level, when you get into the competition, you start playing to your strengths, which is more of (an) outside (game). I see him post up. But I still see a lot of opportunities there. He's not capitalizing as much as he should. He needs more of a refresher course where he can become more comfortable. I see him (improving his post game), but he needs more time."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The best always get better. That's why they are the best.

After all, Michael Jordan developed an amazing post game; Magic Johnson added his ‘baby hook’ and three-point shot; Kobe Bryant has extended his range over the years.

So, there’s no doubt LeBron James, who will surely win his third MVP award this spring, can get better. According to his tutor Olajuwon, it starts in the post, where the 6-8 man-child has only scratched the surface.

James’ can also take his one-on-one defense, outside range, and conditioning to another level. When he does fans will be watching an all-time great.

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

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Tuesday , Feb , 28 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: I should have taken Last Shot in All-Star Game

LeBron on final seconds of All-Star game: "(Kobe) was telling me to shoot it. I seen my teammate open for a split second. I seen him open the first time and I didn't release the ball. When I tried to throw it late, that's what usually happens and it results in a turnover. Definitely wish I could have that one back."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James should forget his last second turnover in Sunday's All-Star game and focus on one thing: helping his Miami Heat win a championship.

After all, the mid-season classic is meaningless; it’s an event for Commissioner Stern, ESPN/ABC, and the league’s sponsors to sell the NBA.

The Heat don’t move up or down in the standings. And there’s no impact on home court advantage. So, why is James taking the blame? Why is he worrying?

Instead of dwelling on the outcome, the game’s greatest player should be arrogant enough to shrug off the result, remind everyone the All-Star game is for fans, and then drop forty in his next regular season game.

Michael Jordan wouldn’t have thought twice about ‘blowing’ the All-Star game. Neither would Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Their confidence - what the kid’s call swagger - was too great.

James is talking about the All-Star game to reporters. It’s becoming a ‘thing’. It’s sticking in his mind. Just like his inability to finish down the stretch.

And the whispers will follow him when the game is close and the Heat have the ball late in the fourth quarter.

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

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Sunday , Feb , 26 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Evans and Love win Dunk and 3-point contests, but do you care?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Does anybody care that Jeremy Evans and Kevin Love are your 2012 Slam Dunk and Three Point Shootout champions?

Of course, not.

In fact, the highlight of All-Star Saturday was TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley throwing zingers at past and present players.

Barkley's best moment was calling out current superstars for choosing to skip the Slam Dunk Contest, which has long been All-Star Saturday’s showcase event.

After all, Blake Griffin decided not to defend his 2011 Slam Dunk Title. And LeBron James again talked of participating but ultimately spent the night with teammate Dwyane Wade on the sideline.

So watch the videos below and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts on All-Star Saturday.
 

 

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

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Friday , Feb , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron, Wade, and Chalmers contain Lin; Heat defeat Knicks

Jeremy Lin offered no excuses. He and the Knicks had no answers.Lin's rapid rise from unknown to superstar was slowed big-time Thursday night by the Miami Heat, who overwhelmed the NBA's hottest story with a swarming defense that the Knicks' new starting point guard could not solve. Forcing Lin into easily the worst game of his remarkable run as New York's newest star, Miami topped the Knicks 102-88 - the eighth straight win for the NBA-leading Heat, all by at least 12 points.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was a rather rude awakening for 'Linsanity'.

Yesterday, the Miami Heat used superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, physical play, and full-court pressure to neutralize sensation Jeremy Lin and defeat the New York Knicks 102-88.

Lin had his worst game as a starter, going 1-for-11 from the floor and turning the ball over eight time.

The key: the Heat rotated defenders on Lin. And  Mario Chalmers did an especially good job picking up Lin full-court and making the second year table-setter work.

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

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Monday , Feb , 20 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

A touch late: LeBron hires New PR firm

The first thing we all should remember is that LeBron James is a master manipulator. James had to know the questions were coming on Thursday when the Miami Heat were practicing at Quicken Loans Arena. He’s recently hired a new “strategist,” a man who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign, so for all we know, his answers could all have been planned.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a touch late.

LeBron James has finally hired a public relations firm to represent him, his brand, and help him communicate on his behalf to the world.

Unfortunately, the damage is done. Listening to one of his boys from his AAU team led to The Decision, where James announced he was taking his ‘talents to South Beach’ on live television.

His reputation has never recovered. James finally decided to turn to a professional to take care of his interests.

Perhaps they can start be censoring his recent comments on returning to Cleveland.

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

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Friday , Feb , 17 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: LeBron would return to Cleveland?

‘I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again,’ James said after the Heat’s practice Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena. ‘I had a lot of fun times here. You can’t predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami player and I’m happy where I am now but I don’t rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James, let it die.

Eighteen months ago, James killed Cleveland and the Cavaliers by leaving as a free agent for the Miami Heat.

Worst of all, he announced his decision on national television, turning the process into a spectacle.

James was criticized all last year for this choice; his reputation has never recovered with fans, media, and even peers.

Sadly, the Cavaliers suffered through a brutal 2011, and had to watch James’ Heat advance to the NBA finals -only to lose to the Dallas Mavericks.

There is hope, though. The Cavaliers drafted star point guard Kyrie Irving first overall and power forward Tristan Thompson fourth overall.

Instead of recognizing his former team has moved on, instead of recognizing how wrong he was, James mentioned returning.

Yeah, sure. One day pigs will fly. One day hell will freeze over. And one day Commissioner Stern will apologize for how the NBA treated Seattle and Vancouver. 

This is about James’ ego. He wants to ride in on his white horse and save Cleveland. Of course, James’ comments are a distraction to the Heat, who are attempting to win a championship.

James should move on. Clearly, Cleveland has.

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

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Sunday , Feb , 12 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: LeBron threatens fan for mentioning his mom and Delonte West?

Former Deadspin contributor Sarah Kogod overheard what she called a "heated conversation" between LeBron James and a Wizards fan last night. She then spoke to the fan, got his take, and tweeted what he had to say, which included a threat from LeBron:

    …LeBron was waiting alone in the backcourt when fan Bob Moore made a comment to LeBron about Delonte West and LeBron's mom…

    …According to Moore, LeBron said "The only reason you talk shit is because you know I can't come off the court right now and beat your ass"...

    …Also according to Moore, LeBron continued "But if I had a free pass, I'd kick your ass right now."...

    …Moore replied "I'm right here baby. Let's go" before security stepped in.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James should stand up for himself when a fan harasses him about Delonte West’s alleged ‘relationship’ with his mother.

James is right: the fan can only say such things because of the barrier, security, and fallout James would face from an altercation.

The fan is in the wrong. So is James, though.

The veteran should've responded by having security remove the fan because threats only bring negative attention. Ideally, Wizard fans and/or security would take the initiative to ‘ask’ the fan to settle down.

James must react rationally, while fans must realize purchasing a ticket doesn’t give you the right to say anything you like.

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

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Sunday , Feb , 12 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron and Wade’s one-handed pass and alley-oop

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are astonishingly good and entertaining in the open court.

If the Heat continue playing strong half-court defence then these two will get fast break opportunities, which means highlights for you and me.

Click the video and watch Wade toss James an epic alley-oop against the lowly Wizards.

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

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Thursday , Feb , 09 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: Kendrick Perkins should be embarrassed by Blake Griffin dunk

"For me, social media and Twitter is all about connecting with your fans," James said. "From day one, that's why I got to Twitter, to connect to my fans."I would never apologize for anything like that when I'm connecting with my fans." James said he certainly never "called out" Perkins."I can see why he may have felt embarrassed," he said. "I don't think I was the only one that reacted to that unbelievable play by Blake, and that's what it was all about, me acknowledging how great of a play it was. If Kendrick Perkins had dunked on somebody else on the other end, I would have done the same thing. "I'm an easy target, let's leave it at that."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kendrick Perkins and LeBron James have no problem telling us how they feel, especially about each other.

Clearly, Perkins didn't like James teasing him on twitter after he got poster-jobbed by Blake Griffin in a recent game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.

So Perkins responded. Now it's James' turn. Of course, the back-and-forth between these two isn't surprising.

Perkins and James have history. They two spent years battling each other for Eastern Conference supremacy with the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.

They may have changed teams, but are still rivals. 

James' Heat could meet Perkins' Thunder in the NBA Finals. Both players know this. And both players are attempting to gain an edge during the dog days of the regular season. 

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

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Sunday , Feb , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Should Chris Bosh blame Shaq for not starting All-Star game?

I never read too much into TV," Bosh said.  He also never reads too much into NBA popularity contests.  "I'm not a popular guy, I guess," he said matter-of-factly of the fan vote for All-Star starters. "I don't think I am. I don't appeal to the popular crowd."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh can blame three people for not starting the 2012 All-Star game.

Two of those people would be teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Fans vote-in the starters, and they overlooked Bosh, in part, because of the Miami Heat's dynamic duo.

Bosh is, arguably, the top power forward in the Eastern Conference, and is more deserving of being in the first unit than shot-happy Carmelo Anthony.

Now the left-handeder is okay with James and Wade receiving accolades because they’re teammates and friends. Bosh isn’t okay with Shaquille O’Neal preventing him from being an All-Star starter.

O`Neal, a superstar turned analyst, has continued to insult Bosh from the safety of the TNT broadcast booth, which has surely influenced fan voting.

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

2012 NBA All-Star Starters Announced
Friday , Feb , 03 , 2012 Paul Eide

2012 NBA All-Star Starters Announced

Of the 10 players to be announced as starters this year, eight of them were starters last season. Amar’e Stoudemire started at forward for the East last season but was replaced this year by teammate Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, who started for the West last season, was replaced by first timer Blake Griffin this year. The retirement of Yao Ming also opened a starting spot which was filled by Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

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Friday , Feb , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron to take part in Dunk Contest?

“I have thought about it before and a few times in the past I kind of had an ankle injury that kind of kept me out of it and a couple of times I was just like, ‘You know what, I’m going to go in here and rest my legs for this weekend and then get back to the regular season,” James said. “But, I mean, they say a lot of the greats have done it and I’ve watched it over the years.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It can only be positive.
 
LeBron James participating in the 2012 Slam Dunk contest would help the NBA move past the nasty lockout that lasted from July to December of 2011.
 
After all, the league needs this to erase the image of millionaire athletes and billionaire owners fighting over massive piles of revenue, especially during a nasty economic recession that has plagued the United States and much of the world.
 
So, the image of James finally gracing us with his presence on All-Star Saturday, and finally taking part in the Slam Dunk Contest would do much to draw back the alienated casual fan who has tuned out the NBA in recent years.
 
Would it solve all the league’s problems?
 
No, but it’s a step. And the NBA needs to take steps to regain it’s foothold in the sports and entertainment landscape.
 
---Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on John Lucas III or Blake Griffin on Kendrick Perkins?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Anything LeBron James can do Blake Griffin can do better, right?

During Sunday‘s clash between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, James hurdled John Lucas III on a backdoor alley-oop that left fans in awe.

The highlights were just starting, though.

Just one day later, Griffin left Staples Center speechless with his poster-job on Oklahoma City Thunder post Kendrick Perkins.

So, which dunk is play of the year? LeBron making like Vince Carter on that French dude at the Sydney Olympics or Griffin giving Perkins the ‘Mozgov’ treatment?

Watch both videos and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


 

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Monday , Jan , 30 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron James hurdles John Lucas III on an alley-oop

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Always call screens or you might end up like John Lucas III.

Lucas III, a reserve guard for the Chicago Bulls, didn`t communicate on a backdoor pick and ended up getting victimized by LeBron James. Click the video and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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

 

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Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe: ‘Hard to digest’ losing to LeBron and Heat

Kobe Bryant hates losing to LeBron James. He hates it. From Cleveland to Miami, the beatings have come over and over, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers star surly, seething. Ultimately, they’re made easier for Bryant because James has repeatedly failed in the playoffs. Bryant plays for championships, but these magnificent national stages do matter to him. In his mind, embarrassment isn’t so easily dismissed. “It is hard to digest,” Bryant said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s what makes him who he is.

Kobe Bryant’s competitiveness has made him an all-time great, so much so that he’ll be a first-ticket Hall of Famer when he retires.

With such a drive to succeed, it’s no surprise Bryant was still fuming over a loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday evening.

After all, the Heat, not the Lakers, are the NBA’s glamour team. And James, not Bryant, is becoming the NBA’s most dominant player.

Of course, James always posts massive numbers when facing, and usually beating, the  Lakers, which is like rubbing a pound of salt in Bryant’s open wound.

Bryant will respond with hard work. Like Drago in Rocky 4, he’ll train, scheme, and practice with eyes on regular season and playoff rematches.

Such an approach is what has made him great.

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

 

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Sunday , Jan , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: Heat still NBA’s best team

ChrisBosh-“We’re still the best team in the league You’re going to have to go through things like this Things aren’t always going to go well.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh is right. Well, sort of.

His Miami Heat are the NBA’s best team, but aren’t playing like it. The Chicago Bulls, the Heat’s rivals in the competitive Eastern Conference, are.

To be fair, the Heat are 8-4 because they went through a brutal west coast swing without All-World guard and closer Dwyane Wade. A little rest, a healthy Wade, and the Heat climb the standings.

Meanwhile, the Bulls sit atop the entire league with a 12-2 record because of stellar defense and continued fine play from reigning MVP Derrick Rose.

Right now, the Bulls have the edge. Here’s the question: could the Bulls beat the Heat, provided The Big Three are healthy, in a best-of-seven playoff series?

The answer: probably not.

The Heat are virtually unbeatable -if Bosh, LeBron James, and Wade are at their best.

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

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Saturday , Jan , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Is LeBron the NBA’s Tebow?

‘Honestly, I’ve been paying attention to Tebow all year even while I was watching the Cowboys,’ James said Friday, referring to his favorite NFL team. ‘So I love to see what a guy can do when his back is up against the wall, when everybody counts him out.’ James says he’s in the “same boat” as Tebow, whose Broncos play at New England Saturday in an AFC divisional playoff. He’s not necessarily talking about talent, but about scrutiny. ‘I can relate to him a lot,’ said James, who like Tebow, is one of the most talked-about athletes anywhere. ‘I see how the media plays it sometimes and how the critics go at him and to see him continue to prove them wrong. If it’s a good game or a bad game on his part, he continues to stay positive and move forward. And that’s a great sign. It’s a great leader. You respect that no matter if you’re in that same sport or not.’”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We knew LeBron James was a fan, but his connection to Tim Tebow, the controversial quarterback for the Denver Broncos, is apparently deeper than that.

James says he can relate to Tebow’s plight as the underdog, as the guy everyone counts out, as the real life Rudy, Rocky, and Cinderella Man.

This is too much.

First, James isn’t a victim. Far from it, in fact. He was blessed with amazing talents, and has benefited from his talent.

Second, James isn’t the underdog. He was the odds-on favourite, dubbed The Next One by media and fans while still in high school.

For instance, in grade nine, James - an Akron, Ohio native - amazed in work outs with the nearby Cleveland Cavaliers. And a couple of years later, ESPN televised his games as prep school senior.

The reason for the attention was simple: James was expected to succeed. Nobody doubted him or counted him out.

And he has suceeded by winning Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, leading the Cavaliers and Miami Heat to multiple 50-win seasons, and advancing to two NBA Finals. Of course, James is arguably the most dominant player in the league today.

Third, the circus surrounding James in 2011 was largely self-induced. He turned his free agency into a spectacle with The Decision, and predicted multiple championships for the Heat before they played a single game.

Tebow is in the public eye in, large part, because of an unorthodox style and willingness to credit God and discuss his religious beliefs publicly.

So Tebow’s situation is very different than James’. No matter what James says or thinks.

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

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Friday , Jan , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Mike Brown: Kobe more ‘serious-minded’ than LeBron

"LeBron is a guy who is still learning and still growing, and the reality of it is that being down there with Dwyane Wade has helped him," Brown said. "They're different personalities. LeBron, he's a guy who likes to laugh and joke. He knows obviously there's a time to be serious, but he's youthful.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is true.

Kobe Bryant is more serious-minded than LeBron James, however, The Black Mamba is perhaps the most serious-minded player to ever hit an NBA floor.

Bryant eats, sleeps, and lives basketball. 24 hours a day. 365 days a year. Regardless of successes or failures, he's working on his craft.

Technically, Brown is right: Bryant is more 'serious-minded' than James. But the Miami Heat swing is more focused than in 2011; 'The Decision' and 'The Backlash' are no longer an issue.

However, to be in Kobe-territory, to earn All-Time great respect, James must hoist the Larry O'Brien championship in June. And he must do it more than once.

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