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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Phil Jackson to coach New York Knicks?

The first was undoubtedly whether Phil Jackson, on hand to usher his former long-time assistant Tex Winter and Rodman into the Class of 2011, will unretire in the future and return to the NBA sidelines to coach again. Maybe for the Knicks in 2012.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Phil Jackson ride off into the sunset at his ranch in the Mid West? Or, will the most successful coach in NBA history un-retire and  take a seat on the New York Knicks’ bench?

Jackson didn’t close the door on a return to coaching at the NBA’s Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Instead, he left the door open ever-so slightly.

Remember, Jackson won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, which included a run of three and two consecutive championships.

Before that he won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, which included two separate runs of three consecutive championships.

Bottom line: Jackson’s a winner. So the Knicks should do everything possible to woo him out of retirement, or sabbatical, and onto the hallowed floor of Madison Square Gardens.

After all, Jackson played for some great Knick squads. His ego is grand enough that he’d handle, or even welcome, the bright lights, center stage, and headlines of Broadway. 

Of course, the Knicks have the money to easily meet P-Jax’s demand of an eight-figure annual salary to work his magic on Carmelo Anthony and Amar‘e Stoudemire.

Sounds perfect, right?

Well, here’s the problem: Knick owner James Dolan likes control. He’ll be reluctant to hire a free-thinking, counter-culturist like Jackson, who has the pedigree to say what he thinks without worrying about consequences.

Now Jackson, at 66, won’t want to deal with the Knicks’ meddling owner. For instance, he knows Executive Donnie Walsh left because he grew tired of Dolan.

Then again Dolan has hired high-profile coaches and general managers: Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. And Jackson has dealt with the soap opera in Laker-land known as the Buss clan.

So it’s possible. We’re talking about it too, which is exactly what Jackson, retired or not, wants. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers Targetting Chris Paul?

With the Lakersshowing more signs that their basketball mileage is catching up with them, they need to inject speed into their lineup. And with Mike Brown planning to abandon most of the triangle offense, they need a solid point guard. ... [Chris Paul] has the edge over [Deron Williams] because of his youth (26) and uncanny speed.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With the 2012 season in limbo, many have turned to speculating on next year’s free agent class.

One rumour keeps making the rounds: Chris Paul walks on the New Orleans Hornets to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next July.

Before you roll your eyes at the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for not fixing the migration of stars to big markets, recognize that this makes sense for Paul.

The Lakers will have financial flexibility. They have $67 million in committed salary for the 2012-13 season, but the club holds options on $25 million for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

While they won’t walk on Bynum, the purple-and-gold will gladly bolt on the final $8 million on Odom’s pact. There are other ways to trim salary.

Regardless of the system - hard or soft cap - the Lakers will be able to make a competitive offer for Paul.

New coach Mike Brown will replace the Triple-Post with a drive-and-kick system that relies on the point guard penetrating and running pick-and-rolls.

Sounds perfect for Paul, right?

The New Orleans Hornets can’t afford Paul. The league owns the team and the city can't generate enough revenue to pay for a top supporting cast.

So it’s generally accepted that Paul will leave New Orleans and join Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in New York.

Not so fast.

Last I checked the Knicks played in the Eastern Conference. Each year, Paul would have to go through Miami’s Three Kings to reach the NBA Finals.

And when the Heat have a down year, Paul would likely face 2010 MVP Derrick Rose and his upstart Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, with their air-tight defense, are no pushovers.

So Paul’s best bet at championship glory may be out west with the Lakers.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: ‘Melo and LaLa getting Khloe and Lamar style TV show?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s just what we need -an NBA forward and his celebrity wife showing us their 'real' life.

Oh wait, there's Khloe Kardashian and Lakers forward Lamar Odom. There's also Kim Kardashian and Nets four-man Kris Humphries with their show.

Now there's Carmelo Anthony and wife LaLa Vasquez getting air-time to inform, educate, and enlighten about their ‘day-to-day’ existence.

If 'Melo and LaLa is your thing then click the video preview and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts.

--HoopsVibe News

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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Kobe to represent USA at 2012 Olympics

Kobe Bryant is a yes whatever happens, according to a source close to the 34-year-old; Bryant badly wants a second gold medal to go with the one he won in '08.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: If you’re starting a team, Kobe Bryant isn’t a bad place to start.

Reports indicate the Los Angeles Lakers superstar has already committed to being a part of the American national squad that will look to defend its gold medal at the 2012 Olympcs in London, England.

Bryant deserves credit for wanting to represent his country. The rest of the 2008 gold medal-winning squad from Beijing found an excuse not to participate in the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

(Bryant was badly injured. The young American squad still won in Turkey because of chemistry, discipline, and Kevin Durant’s fine play.)

This time around, Bryant is in. His age doesn’t matter; same with his battered, bruised body. And he doesn’t care if the NBA is still mired in an ugly labour dispute.

Bryant wants to play for the United States. Here's the question: do his superstar peers share his passion?

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest on meeting Celine Dion: ‘My Nipples Froze’

Celine made me and all my thug friends cry with the French song!!!! She cried !!! Wow!!!! She hugged me !! I got chills!! My nipples froze!

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: New name. Same sense of humour.

Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, admitted via twitter to attending a Celine Dion concert in Las Vegas with his ‘boys’.

And when Artest - the tough guy swing turned lovable entertainer - met the Canadian crooner backstage a part of his body 'froze'.

Apparently, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas -even when it needs to.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Aug , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum to ‘deliver’ Lakers Howard, Paul, or Williams?

Is Andrew Bynum the league's most intriguing and powerful trade chip? He's considered a top-10 center in a class led by Dwight Howard, but there's currently no more pivotal pivot than Bynum. He might be able to deliver 2012 prospective free agents Howard or Chris Paul or Deron Williams to L.A., compensation to those stars' respective teams and revive Kobe's title plans. Bynum's so valuable to the Lakers that his real value is in leaving them.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant aside, Andrew Bynum’s position is as safe and secure as any member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In short, a trade is unlikely. 

The Lakers fell back in love with the seven-footer after his impressive play during the second half of last season. Healthy and fit, Bynum was dominant on both ends and helped resuscitate the purple-and-gold.

This isn’t why he’s safe and secure, though.

Owners’s son and Chief Executive Meddler (CEM) Jim Buss views Bynum’s success as validation. Jim Buss has attached what little reputation he has as a hoops-man to his center.

The CEM claims to have drafted Bynum and urged GM Mitch Kupchak to stick with him when his play, health, and/or fitness faltered.

As Bynum’s stock rises, so does Jim Buss’. That’s the way the twisted CEM sees it. It explains why new coach Mike Brown, hired by the CEM, promptly promoted Bynum to co-superstar with Bryant.

Bynum is a symbol of the new power in Laker-nation. Jim Buss will be hesitant to trade him -even if it could fetch Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Does it matter if Kobe signs with Besiktas?

As confirmed exclusively to Sportando, the first meeting between Rob Pelinka, agent of Kobe Bryant and Besiktas was an acquainting one. Both sides presented their view's of the situation. Besiktas also made a first official proposal to Kobe Bryan but the offer, at the moment, is not at the level that Kobe and his agents will accept. In the next days, by the end of the week, there should be a second meeting where Besiktas will raise the proposal for the Lakers' star trying to convince him to land in Turkey and play along with Deron Williams. Kobe did not attend the meeting.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Kobe Bryant and Besiktas are getting what they want and need from these not-so subtle negotiations.

Bryant’s name stays front and center. The headlines help his brand, and allow him to charge mid-six figures for a night’s work abroad.

It also puts some pressure on the owners with respect to negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Buss clan, who own the big market Los Angeles Lakers, can’t be happy their veteran superstar is contemplating playing abroad in a second rate league with poor facilities and medical professionals.

Speaking of Besiktas, they couldn’t buy this publicity. The Turkish club is linked to arguably the game’s greatest player and a once-in-a-generation talent.

The mere chance Bryant would consider crossing the Atlantic and toiling for Besiktas helps soften the match-fixing scandal that plagued their soccer operations.

Bryant, like the signing of superstar point guard Deron Williams, gives an impression of legitimacy.

At this point, does it matter if Bryant and Besiktas' flirting becomes official with a formal contract?

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
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Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Matt Barnes fights, hits game-winning shot at Pro-Am

“According to a brief report from KGO-TV, during a Pro-Am game between Barnes’ Dream Team and East Bay at the Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, Barnes punched a member of the East Bay team. But since an official didn’t catch the altercation, play continued after a break and Barnes was not ejected. As of Friday morning, it appears no one has posted a video of the punch, but one fan at the game did capture the incident’s aftermath and members of both teams retreating to their own benches.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Get in a fight. Hit the game-winning shot.

Players who can do both are rare. And this is the reason contenders covet Matt Barnes. One moment he's scrapping. The next he's a stone-cold assassin.    

Bottom line: top teams love Barnes' edge.

Remember, his 'edge’ made him a cult-hero with the ‘We Believe’ Golden State Warriors when they upset the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks.

Orlando Magic fans took to his 'edge’ when he declared viral jihad against Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Those same Lakers showered him and his 'edge’ with praise when, as a member of the purple-and-gold, he went at the Mavs’ Jason Terry on-and-off court.

No team will publicly condone Barnes initiating a donnybrook at a Pro-Am match. Privately, behind closed doors, it's a different story.

Best of all, it wasn't a fan, right Mike Beasley? Watch the videos of Barnes’ altercation and game-winning shot and then get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.


(Barnes scrapping.) 

(Barnes hits game-winning shot.)

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Blake Griffin on lockout: ‘My first three seasons, I could play 82 games’

"I haven't stopped working out really since May," Griffin said. "It's been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can." Griffin says it's frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma. "Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games," Griffin said. "So, we'll see what happens."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year was overwhelmingly positive for the NBA.
 
The sporting world was galvanized by Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James joining forces and becoming the ‘Heatles’ in Miami.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s hard work was rewarded with an NBA championship, guaranteeing both immediate entry into the Hall of Fame when they retire.

Derrick Rose won the MVP award, leading the Chicago Bulls to the league’s best regular season record and a place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder took another step winning two playoff series before falling to Nowitzki and Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs and upset the San Antonio Spurs. After years of futility, the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers were relevant and entertaining.

There are other storylines I’m missing.

For instance, high on this list is the emergence of Blake Griffin, whose aerial antics reminded the world there’s a professional basketball squad in Los Angeles not called the Lakers.

(And this squad, the Clippers, can compete and delight despite being owned by the twisted and incompetent Donald Sterling.)

Suppose there’s a lockout. One that wipes out the entire season. Griffin, who missed 2009 with injury, will have played just eighty-two games in his first three seasons.

Fans would have to wait a year to see Griffin assault the rim. Fans would have to wonder what Griffin would do to defend his crown at the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. And fans, the purists, would have to wait a year to see Griffin’s above average passing and skill-set develop.

This is tragic. And just another thing Commissioner David Stern, the owners, Union Head Billy Hunter, and the players are risking with their posturing and rhetoric.

I hope they know what they’re doing. Griffin missing another year should be a last resort.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant’s silence for Jim Buss, not Mike Brown?

"We’ve talked. We’ve met, we’ve talked several times, met several times," Bryant said. "We have been in dialogue. There has been an open dialogue.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was the ‘how’.

Kobe Bryant had a problem with how Mike Brown was hired, and not the decision to have the defensive tsar replace Phil Jackson on the Los Angeles Lakers’ bench.

The Black Mamba was, at a minimum, expecting a heads up from management/ownership. Perhaps even the chance to offer input.

This is standard operating procedure between team and superstar in the NBA. Team wants to make a major personnel move. Team asks premier player‘s opinion. Of course, what the team does what that opinion is anybody’s guess. 

But Bryant was never asked about Brown. Not a phone call. Not a text. Not a face-to-face. Not an email. Nothing.

The reason was simple: Brown was Jim Buss’ choice. And Jim Buss, the owner’s son and new lead executive, has a specific agenda for the team.

Long-time assistant Brian Shaw was passed over for Jackson’s job -perhaps with valid reason. After giving twelve years to the organization as a player and assistant coach, Shaw deserved better than to learn he didn’t get the job via ESPN.

And Buss seems determined to promote Andrew Bynum, the talented but injury-prone center, from supporting piece to co-star status with Bryant.

So Bryant probably had nothing nice to say. So he went silent.

Fair enough.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Wednesday , Jul , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ron Artest to join Dancing with the Stars?

Nothing's official yet -- but sources tell us, both Artest and "Dancing" producers have been in touch to hash out a possible deal ... and Ron's pretty excited about the prospect.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Ron Artest a full-time basketball player, part-time celebrity? Or, is he a full-time celebrity, part-time basketball player?

Since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers two years ago, Artest has become immersed in Hollywood. There have been appearances on late-night TV, rap videos, references to psychiatrists, movies, and now a rumoured appearance on Dancing With The Stars.

This would be fine if Artest handled ‘his’ on-court. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been so; the former Defensive Player of the Year hasn’t consistently performed since joining Laker-nation.

Instead of spending the off-season working to regain his past form, Artest seems interested in pursuing off-court fame. There’s a movie deal in Europe. Now he’s following Mark Cuban’s footsteps on reality TV.

To be fair, the NBA is in the midst of a lengthy lockout. It could be six months before there’s basketball. Maybe, a year. So he has time.

Still, circumstances shouldn’t matter. Artest would be wise to remember he’s a professional basketball player, not a second-rate celebrity who plays professional basketball.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard would ‘Never’ join LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, and Heat

Seems that a guy like Dwight Howard, nearly 7-feet tall and answering to "Superman," would be a perfect fit at Comic-Con, where he talked about both his budding career as a voice over actor and his basketball future. What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple ... but that's Rock's outfit." The Heat? "Never."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be like the Greasers combining forces with the Socs', or the Capulets breaking bread with the Montagues, or Paris Hilton ‘re-friending’ Kim Kardashian.

Or, like a want-to-be-superhero telling the Comic-Con masses he’d never join the villains, the bad guys, the capped-out Miami Heat.

Give Howard credit. He can charm a crowd -even if that crowd spends weekends playing D&D, Call of Duty, and comparing the old Star Wars trilogy to the new Star Wars trilogy.

However, this is bigger than Comic-Con. Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic, hate the cross-state Heat. They hate Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, known as the 'Three Kings'. And they hate arrogant Heat exec' Pat Riley.

There's little Howard can do. The NBA is locked-out. His Magic will lack the pieces, unless Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu rediscover their past form, to topple the Eastern Conference champion Heat.

Howard will opt-out of his contract next July and likely join another superstar. Perhaps something happens with the Lakers -if Jerry Buss falls out of love with Andrew Bynum. Perhaps he links up with Deron Williams and the Nets.

One thing is certain: Howard would 'never' join Miami.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson: Kobe wants to pass Jordan on all-time scoring list

But not many believed him, including Phil Jackson. When I asked the former Lakers coach last season which player Bryant wants to pass on the scoring list the most, Jackson replied without hesitation, "Michael Jordan."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Pandora’s Box known as Kobe vs. Mike is once again open, courtesy of their former coach Phil Jackson.

'Zen-Master' Phil told the L.A. Times last season that Kobe Bryant, of the Lakers, desperately wants to pass Michael Jordan, the Hall of Fame guard with the Chicago Bulls, on the league's all-time scoring list.

Bryant's reason for setting this goal is obvious: he wants his legacy to be greater than Jordan's.

Forget the all-time scoring list. One statistic proves Bryant can never top Jordan. The 'Black Mamba' has lost twice in the NBA Finals, while 'His Airness' was a perfect 6-0 in the championship series.

When the chips were on-the-line, when it mattered most, nobody was greater than Jordan. This is beyond dispute and outweighs the all-time scoring list. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Russell Westbrook: There’s no beef with Kevin Durant

Westbrook also argued with his coach, Scott Brooks, and his star teammate, Kevin Durant, on the court, leading to speculation that he was feuding with both. And when the Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks, Westbrook shouldered most of the blame. In the two months since, Westbrook hasn’t lost much sleep worrying about the criticism.

“I refuse to let myself do that,” Westbrook told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve been working too hard to get to the position we were in last season to worry about anything somebody else was saying.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Superstars need each other.

In today’s NBA, one superstar isn’t enough to win a title. The crème de la crème of talent know they must partner up to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in late June.

For instance, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs have a few premier players working towards a collective goal.

(The 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks were, perhaps, the exception, surrounding their sole superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, with five or six very good players.)  

The Oklahoma City Thunder, if they are to join the ranks of legit contender, need Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook working together. Durant knows this. Westbrook knows this, too.

These two will never tell media or fans if there was tension over Westbrook’s questionable shot selection in the playoffs. They’ll keep it in-house, which shows they’re mature beyond their years.

However, coach Scott Brooks may want to clarify roles by reminding Westbrook that he is Robin and Durant is Batman. Not the other way around.

Brooks might also want to remind Westbrook he needs to focus on setting-the-table for teammates -as well as getting his own points.

Of course, this could be tricky. Once the lockout is settled, Westbrook and the Thunder will be ironing-out the details on a new, long-term extension.

Such declarations, if handled poorly, would do permanent damage to the Thunder‘s relationship with Westbrook.

All parties must proceed with caution. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum’s ego a problem for Lakers?

His conscience is paralyzed. His sense of entitlement is blinding. So, no, actually, I wasn't surprised to see this week's photos of Andrew Bynum leaving his convertible sitting across two handicapped parking spaces while he shopped at an upscale grocery store in Westchester.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Andrew Bynum’s ego a problem for the Los Angeles Lakers?

Well, some think so. Today, Bill Plaschke, a veteran writer with the L.A. Times, alleges that Bynum parking in a handicap spot isn’t a temporary lapse of judgement.

Plaschke thinks Bynum ‘suffers from a disability of maturity’. He reports that this isn’t the first time the seven-footer has been caught in a handicap spot. He also calls him out for delaying surgery to accommodate a trip to South Africa and rehabbing injuries at the Playboy Mansion.

As an outsider, it’s hard to get a read on the Lakers. They’re fractured by power politics, internal dissent, personal agendas, and media bias.

The recent Bynum backlash is no different. Some see him as an ally of Jim Buss, the club’s new lead executive and son of owner Jerry Buss.

Right now, Jim Buss isn’t popular. He gets the blame for pushing out Coach Phil Jackson, hiring his replacement in Mike Brown, and alienating superstar Kobe Bryant.

Bynum, right or wrong, fair or not, is vulnerable due to his relationship with Jim Buss.

Plaschke, however, provides an objective view into the complex world of Laker-nation. He’s been with the L.A. Times for years. He’s won numerous awards. He’s a regular contributor to ESPN. And, while we're at it, he volunteers with Big Brothers.

Plaschke’s criticism seems reasonable. Bynum has been given much by the Lakers -perhaps too much. And he has yet to fulfill expectations on-and-off court.

Now is as good a time as any to start. Bynum is a 23-year old man. Perhaps he should act like it.  

--Oly Sandor.

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

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT
Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT

This can be discussed even during a lockout. Dirk and the Mavs are still riding high from their hard earned 2011 NBA title. They swept Kobe’s Lakers, beat Durant/Westbrook Thunder, and then took out the Miami Heat. The team is battle tested especially with the grand fail against the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 playoffs. The Mavs lost a lot with a solid roster in the past. They overcame all of that in 2011.What’s next? Repeat. Duh. 

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Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Did Andrew Bynum really park in a handicap spot?

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah, Andrew you' re not injured, so there's no need to use the handicap spot.

Probasketballtalk.com has a picture of Andrew Bynum, the often-injured center for the Los Angeles Lakers, parking his luxury automobile in a spot reserved for those with a handicap or disability.

Surely, Bynum had a mental lapse. Perhaps he thought he was still injured - who can blame the lumbering seven-footer with all the time he spent on injured reserve – and mistakenly put his 'ride' in the handicap spot.

Or, Bynum could be a real son of a-you-know-what -especially since the parking lot is practically empty.

Click the link (provided courtesy of probaksetballtalk.com), take a look at the picture, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jul , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard upset Magic didn’t consult him on Arenas trade?

Howard found out when the rest of us did: once the trades were completed. Turns out, Howard had a problem with that.

“I wanted to be more part of the process a little more,” Howard said in a radio interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta. “I had to step out on the court and I wanted to make sure that the people I played with wanted to go out and play hard every night. My only issue was the fact that I didn’t really have a chance to be involved, but I think with the guys that we brought in we still have an excellent chance of winning, but we all have to be on the same page.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: How much input should a top employee get from management? Well, some –if you're an NBA superstar.
 
Dwight Howard, the All-World center for Orlando, is frustrated Magic GM Otis Smith didn't consult him before swapping Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades.

Perhaps Howard has a point. Perhaps he should have received a heads-up from Smith. After his comments, he and the team are both at fault.

Smith knows better. He knows the culture of the NBA. And he knows he must appease his superstar and make the required phone call to Howard before changing the make-up of the team.

Howard knows better, too. Phone call or not, he gains nothing by commenting publicly on a situation that is done. It sounds like he isn't pleased with his new teammates. And it sounds like he wants a say in personnel matters.

Of course, looming over Orlando like an ominous rain cloud is Howard's free agency. Next July he can opt-out of his contract, hit free agency, and sign where he likes.
 
Smith's failure to provide a supporting cast may well lead to Howard leaving Disney World and partnering with a superstar in a major market. Like Deron Williams and the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets.
 
No doubt about it, this complicates everything.

It will take years for the Magic to recover if Howard leaves. Their shiny stadium will no longer be full and, similair to when Shaquille O`Neal left for the Lakers, the Magic will become a have-not franchise.

So the supporting cast is a touchy subject.  And Howard's comments won't help.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in comment box below. 
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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Did Brian Shaw deserve better from Jim Buss and Lakers?

“I wasn’t really told anything,” said Shaw, who had the public backing of players Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, among others, to take over for Jackson. “Unfortunately, I found about not getting the job and who was hired for the job on ESPN. I didn’t really talk to anyone for about three weeks after that.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not that he was passed over to replace Phil Jackson as head coach. And it’s not that his contract as an assistant coach wasn’t renewed.

It’s how the Los Angeles Lakers passed over and decided against renewing Brian Shaw, who won five championships in twelve seasons with the NBA’s glamour club.

Shaw discovered his fate from the media -while watching ESPN. No courtesy call.  No email. No facebook poke. No myspace message.

Nothing at all; in fact, Shaw didn't hear from the purple-and-gold for three weeks after the Brown hiring.

To review: last month, the Lakers hired Mike Brown, a former Coach of the Year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, to take over for Zen-Master Phil.

Fair enough.

Management/ownership felt the need to switch things up after the team’s mixed regular season and disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs.

Management/ownership also felt Brown should get to pick his assistant coaches. Brown, for any number of reasons, decided against keeping Shaw.

Again, fair enough.

There is, however, no justification for not telling Shaw in a timely manner. This reflects on one person: Jim Buss.

The owner’s son always had personal issues with Jackson and his allies within the organization –which includes Jim Buss’ own sister Jeanie, Shaw, and even superstar Kobe Bryant.

Of course, Jim Buss is now running the Lakers and wants to put his stamp on things. So Shaw –Jackson's loyal right hand and Robert Duvall like consigliore – was mistreated due to personal politics.

Such pettiness is never good. And such pettiness reflects on the sad-state of the Lakers. Perhaps there's reason to worry in Hollywood.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Robert Horry: Derek Fisher too old to start for Lakers

"No disrespect to Derek Fisher. Derek is alone. I've been there, done that. They need a point guard who can distribute the ball, get everyone in order and not be afraid to tell Kobe no," Horry said. "You can't outrun age. I think age has caught up to him. There's some things he can do, but there are some things he can't do."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: As a player, Robert Horry was known for taking big shots. Now retired, Horry has taken a big shot at former teammate Derek Fisher.

Recently, Horry told the LA Times that Fisher was too old and the Lakers needed a newer, younger point guard to contend for a championship.

This is hardly a revelation. 'Father Time' has caught Fisher.

Fisher, in his mid-to-late thirties, can’t stay in front of quicker table-setters and struggles with consistentcy on offense. Bottom line: he's no longer a starter.

However, Horry -despite prefacing his comments with ‘no disrespect’ and being correct in his analysis- should have given Fisher greater respect. Fisher has a stellar reputation -even when leading the Players’ Union through a nasty lockout.

New Laker coach Mike Brown will surely address Fisher’s role when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed. Brown knows to tread softly.

Why would Horry, a friend and long-time teammate, not do the same? Why would he give his opinion before the cameras at the ESPY Awards?

Well, ‘Big Shot Bob’ was known for honesty. Sometimes grace is the best policy. This seems like something Horry, not Fisher, must learn.  

--Oly Sandor.

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