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Sunday , Jul , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Metta World Peace on Ron Artest: ‘He’s a expletive’

"I changed my name because I got tired of Ron Artest, he's a [expletive]," said Metta World Peace. "And when fans get mad at me, they can't say, 'I hate World Peace."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Metta World Peace is tired of Ron Artest. Well, Laker-nation is tiring of 'Hollywood Ron' and wants more 'Ron-Ron'.

It's impossible to knock Artest for being a happier, healthier person. And it's equally difficult to knock his work as an advocate for mental health. More people, not just athletes, should follow Artest and get involved with causes in their community.

Let's be clear: Artest’s health should always be priority one.

However, the rap videos, stand-up act, and appearances on late-night talk shows seem to have neutralized his edge on-court. And the Lakers need Artest’s edge.

Again, let`s be clear: the Lakers do not need the Artest who leaped into the stands, smashed cameras, got suspended for various infractions, and ultimately walked on the Indiana Pacers.

They do need the former Defensive Player of the Year. They do need the two-guard who stood up to Kobe Bryant in the 2009 playoffs. And they do need his energy and intensity.

The Lakers need less World Peace and more 'Ron-Ron'.  The sooner World Peace accepts this, the better he and his team will be,

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe forced to share Lakers with Bynum?

Yes, aging star Kobe Bryant will still be a part of the equation, but he was put on notice over the summer when Jim Buss hired new coach Mike Brown without so much as a brief discussion with Bryant. The message is clear: Brown is Bynum's coach, and the team belongs to the young center as well.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Only the Los Angeles Lakers.

Only the dysfunctional purple-and-gold would chase away a Hall of Fame sideline boss, strip a once-in-a-generation talent of his franchise-face status, and hand the reins to a talented but injury-prone center.
 
While the Lakers didn’t fire Phil Jackson, they made it easy for him to leave. Management, specifically Jim Buss, made The Zen take a pay cut last summer –despite winning consecutive championships.
 
Then management, specifically Jim Buss, meddled. Then management, specifically Jim Buss, prodded, intruded, and got petty.
 
So Jackson walked. Perhaps he’s meditating in some remote hideaway. Perhaps he’s penning another best seller on his life. Perhaps he and girlfriend Jeannie Buss –yes that would be Jim’s sister and Jerry the owner's daughter- are plotting a comeback.
 
Bottom line: Jackson left, in part, because of Jim Buss. The money, spotlight, and chance to win further championships weren’t worth dealing with the owner’s pushy son.
 
Alienating a coach is one thing. Alienating the talent is worse. Reports indicate that Jim Buss has alienated Kobe Bryant.
 
Before the lockout, the Lakers informed Bryant, one of the game’s great players, he was no longer the team's undisputed top dog. Bryant was then informed he’d share this role with Andrew Bynum.
 
Bynum, when healthy, is a top center. His play during the second half of last season was superb. Bynum, however, is fragile, spending significant time on injured reserve.
 
Then there’s the optics of sharing. Bryant wouldn’t share with the most dominant player in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal, and instead engaged in a feud that broke up a dynasty.
 
Why would he share with Bynum, a still unproven entity? Well, he won’t.
 
Bryant has recently been silent. He hasn’t commented on the lockout, the hiring of Mike Brown or anything Laker-related since losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs. 

His silence is powerful.  Bryant knows Jim Buss pushed Phil Jackson - his friend, mentor, and coach – out. Bryant knows Jim Buss hired Brown, in part, because he’d increase Bynum’s role. And Bryant knows Bynum is Jim Buss’ guy.

So this is politics. Jim Buss never had a job in basketball before getting handed the keys to the Lakers from his father. 
 
Jim Buss, to his credit, drafted Bynum. He believes Bynum’s development and success will validate his standing within the game.
 
Here’s what Jim Buss doesn’t get: Bynum must to earn the top dog mantle. The process must be organic and natural. Or it will wreck the team.
 
Right now, Jim Buss is forcing Bynum on Bryant and the Lakers. The players will resent Jim Buss. They’ll resent Bynum. They'll resent the politics.
 
Only the Los Angeles Lakers could be such a mess without having played a single game.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe wants Pietrus on Lakers?

Mickael Pietrus: "A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What Kobe Bryant wants, he typically gets.

Reports indicate Bryant, a first ballot Hall of Fame guard, wants athletic swing Mickael Pietrus to join his Los Angeles Lakers.

At least, that’s what Pietrus claims. This makes sense, though.

The Frenchman’s size, range, and ability to get up the floor would benefit the Lakers, who seemed lumbering and slow in 2011.

Pietrus could also play many roles. If necessary, he could start. But he'd most likely bolster an inconsistent, shaky, and disappointing bench.

Best of all, Pietrus would keep Ron Artest focused. Too often, Artest, now known as Meta World Peace, has been distracted by the L.A. spotlight.

If Artest isn’t at his best for new coach Mike Brown, he’ll sit and watch Pietrus do the things he’s supposed to do. Point blank: Pietrus would remind Artest he’s a basketball player, not a celebrity.

Of course, the ideal situation would see Pietrus, Artest, Matt Barnes, and Bryant working together to make the Lakers a nastier defensive team, especially on the perimeter and open court.

This is what Bryant wants. He knows his Lakers were soft in 2011. And he believes Pietrus can change things.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

 

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Thursday , Jul , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stephen Curry on Monta Ellis: ‘We Want Him With Our Team’

“I don’t know about the talks he had with the front office or where they ended before the lockout, but as of right now, he’s still a Warrior,” Curry said of Ellis. “We want him with our team. He makes us better. And I think with a fresh start and all the new faces with the organization that will help him forget about the past and not really affect what is going on right now.

“I know there has been a lot of turmoil with him and the organization in the past. I can’t speak for him, but I think the new look of our organization will help him make a difference.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would have been easy for Stephen Curry. Very easy.

Nearly two years ago, Monta Ellis ‘welcomed’ Curry to his first pro' training camp by telling reporters the two couldn’t form a backcourt for the Golden State Warriors.

Today, the Warriors have a new owner and coach. And today, they’re also shopping Ellis around the league.

Ellis has been linked to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, Andre Iguodala and the Philadelphia 76ers, and Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers.

He recently grew tired of the rumors and requested a trade.

Now Curry could have extracted a little revenge and kicked Ellis when he’s down. Or, he could have offered a terse 'no comment' when asked about the situation

Instead, Curry had Ellis’ back. He explained how the Warriors’ core want him to return and are inviting him to training sessions during the lockout.

Such maturity is the difference between Curry and Ellis. And such maturity is the reason the Warriors prefer Curry over Ellis.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Wednesday , Jul , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Kobe more arrogant than LeBron?

“Kobe is super arrogant but everybody loves him. To me, Kobe is more arrogant (than LeBron James).”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You got to love today’s NBA.

Only in this era could a third stringer win a championship and feel he has the ‘juice’ to call out an all-time great.

Isn’t that right Ian Mahinmi?

The Frenchman, who played behind Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood on the 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks, recently declared that Kobe Bryant is the most arrogant player in the NBA.

Forget LeBron. Forget D-Wade. Forget the Three Kings. Forget Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. According to Mahinmi, it’s Kobe.

This is hardly a surprise. Bryant is supremely confident. Always has been, too.

He was this way when plying his craft as a prep-to-pro star at Lower Merion in Philadelphia.

He was this way when Del Harris sat him as a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers.

And he was this way when jostling with Shaquille O’Neal and Phil Jackson for lead dog status with the champion Lakers.

Confidence, or arrogance, has made Bryant who he is. He won’t change, either.

Something that has changed: a part-time player on a championship squad calling out a once-in-a-generation superstar.

Scott Hastings never said a thing about Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, or Magic Johnson when his Detroit Pistons won back-to-back titles. Same with Eric Riley when the Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks in the 1994 finals. And Sean Marks was silent when the San Antonio Spurs captured the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2006.

Even Josh Powell, a reserve with the glamorous L.A. Lakers, knew to stay silent when the purple-and-gold were champions in 2009 and 2010.

They knew their role. They knew their place. Mahinmi does not.

To be fair, Mahinmi had a slightly greater impact than the above players, serving as an energy reserve for Rick Carlisle and the Mavs’.

Still, Mahinmi should stay silent. Right now, he, not Bryant, looks arrogant.   

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want Dwight Howard?

Williams has made no firm promises about staying in New Jersey but has said he likes the direction of the franchise under new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The 27-year-old has likewise expressed optimism about the team's scheduled move to Brooklyn starting with the 2012-13 season and his potential role in luring other top players to the Nets. The Nets, sources said, intend to make a hard push for Howard in an attempt to convince Williams to commit long term.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Collective Bargaining Agreement may change, but the NBA will always be a star’s league.

Take Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets. The soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise mortgaged the farm to acquire Williams via trade, even though he can become a free agent in July of 2012.

Right now, Williams has leverage. Before signing a long-term extension with the Nets, he wants a co-star.

Enter Dwight Howard.

The massive five-man can also opt-out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. Howard, on paper, is the perfect running mate for Williams.

The two would form a lethal inside-outside combo, capable of rivalling most eastern foes. Their star power would match Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who ply their trade with the crosstown New York Knicks.

Unfortunately, the Nets have competition. The Orlando Magic are desperate to keep their franchise face, while the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have both made plays for Howard.

Getting Howard won't be easy. So re-signing Williams won’t be easy. But both are a must for the Nets.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jun , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers need Ron Artest, not Metta World Peace

Say goodbye to Ron Artest and HELLOOOO to Metta World Peace ... Mr. Metta World Peace to you. Yes, Ron is going the way of Cassius Clay, Lew Alcindor and Chad Johnson.  Ron's filed a petition in L.A. County Superior Court to change his name to -- World Peace.

FYI, metta means loving, kindness, happiness and all that jazz. We're told Ron wants to put the new last name -- Peace -- on the back of his L.A. Lakers' jersey. These name changes are typically granted by a judge unless it would result in confusion or fraud. Hey, give Peace a chance.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I have no issue with Ron Artest changing his name. It is, after all, his name.

I have no issue with Artest being happy off-court. I applaud him for seeking help, conquering his demons, and giving back.

I, however, take issue with Artest’s play in 2011. The lockdown defender was a shade of his former self, getting lost in Phil Jackson’s Triple Post system, and not contributing on defense, either.

To be frank: Artest looked distracted. The hoopla and glitz of Los Angeles seemed to come first; basketball seemed to come a distant second.

His priorities must change if the Lakers are to contend for the championship in 2012. The purple-and-gold need Artest to shed weight, regain his status as a premier defender, and score more for new coach Mike Brown.

Artest should enjoy living in LA. This enjoyment should stem from team and individual success on-court.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jun , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Fear not Laker-nation: Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant are cool

Despite Kobe Bryant's silence, people close to both sides say Coach Mike Brown has won over his new star in two face-to-face meetings. Their first was May 31 at Bryant's home in Newport Beach, on Brown's way to his news conference in downtown Los Angeles . . . more or less.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In this edition of How The Purple-and Gold Turn, Laker-nation is overreacting to Kobe Bryant's supposed refusal to endorse Mike Brown as coach. 

There are many ludicrous theories floating around Hollywood. Like ...

What does Bryant's silence mean? Does Bryant not like Brown? Does he feel long-time coach Phil Jackson was forced out? Or, does he feel disrespected because ownership didn’t consult him on hiring Brown?

Well, Laker-nation would be better off considering the facts: Bryant and Brown have met. Twice, in fact.

Sure, Bryant might have preferred veteran assistant Brian Shaw, who he knows and has a relationship with. And sure, he probably feels slighted by management not asking his opinion on the process.

However, tension will always exist between Bryant and ownership because of his 2007 trade demands.

Brown will win Bryant over.  He’ll hold players accountable, especially on the defensive end. This was lost in 2011 under Zen-Master Phil.

Bryant’s silence might stem from embarrassment. His Lakers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. He probably prefers to focus on the upcoming season rather than fuel-the-fire on Brown.

So Laker-nation should relax. All is well between superstar and new coach. For now.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Pau Gasol for Kevin Love?

The topic of Pau Gasol and the Minnesota Timberwolves was discussed last week based on the word of ESPN's Chad Ford that the Wolves had interest in the Los Angeles Laker All-Star forward/center. Further research revealed that the Wolves do indeed have interest in Gasol, notably because of his relationship with guard Ricky Rubio.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: From the toast of Hollywood to potentially plying his trade in Minnesota.

Oh, how the mighty Pau Gasol has fallen. Last year, the Spanish post was integral to the Los Angeles Lakers winning consecutive championships.

This year, it went south: his play faltered; he got the Bobby Knight treatment from former coach Phil Jackson: Laker-nation turned on him; he broke up with his girl; teammate Shannon Brown had to deny reports about getting between Gasol and his girl.

Not surprisingly, the Lakers lost in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. And Gasol seems primed for a change of scenery.

But Minnesota?

Sure, they'd have young pieces in Mike Beasley and Ricky Rubio. And sure, Gasol would mentor Rubio, who he knows from the Spanish national team.

The Timberwolves are a mess. It starts from the top. Owner Glen Taylor has no class. Lead executive David Kahn routinely shoots his mouth off.

For example, these two have left coach Kurt Rambis hanging for months. They haven’t fired him. They haven't endorsed him, either.

They instead made him hand in ‘homework’. Yes, Rambis, who won several championships as a player and assistant coach, must submit a report on improving the team, and then Taylor and Kahn will decide his future.

Good organizations don't do this. They don't degrade. They treat people, all people, with respect -even a below average head coach like Rambis.

Last year was bad for Gasol. Things would be worse in Minnesota, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Should Kobe and Lakers pray for work stoppage?

You're not going to run as fast. You're not going to jump as high. You have to pick your moments. The great example when he picked his moment was the playoff game when he went down the middle and dunked, the one he had agains New Orleans center Emeka Okafor] in Game 5 of the first-round series. That was checkmate. He's a warrior and understands the game. All players have injuries. It's part of it and how he can manage it. He's been doing a good job with that. Nobody is going to run and jump [like] when they were 18 or 19. It's impossible for people to think that. As long as he's enjoying the game and keeps the two seven-footers [Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum], I still think he has three, four or five more years to play at a high level.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A work stoppage may be best for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, I said it. Sure, a dispute over money between millionaire players and billion owners is disgusting. And sadly, the season may get cancelled.

A work stoppage would allow Kobe Bryant to get some much-needed rest. His arthritic knee needs time. Same will the bumps, bruises, tears, and strains he’s accumulated over his long and distinguished career.

A season off will let Bryant return as the game’s top player, a title he lost after his Lakers disappointing loss to the world champion Mavericks.  And those 'three, four, five years' of great play could become longer. 

There’s a parallel to Bryant’s situation down the road in Orange County, California.

In 2004, NHL star Teemu Selanne was considering ending his career due to a shattered knee. Selanne, who notched a remarkable 70 goals as a rookie, was coming off a 16 goal campaign with the Colorado Avalanche.

Like Bryant, his knee had robbed him of all explosiveness. The grind of being a pro athlete had taken its toll.

Then the NHL lockout hit. The 2004-05 season never happened. Rather than ply his trade in Europe, Selanne took a prolonged break.

He returned better than ever. Selanne has posted impressive scoring numbers ever since and notches clutch goals for the Anaheim Ducks. Most importantly, he won a Stanley Cup. All while pushing 40 years of age.

Perhaps a work stoppage would be best for the Lakers and Bryant.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jun , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers could learn from classy Brian Shaw

"It's a little strange, going from 11 years and five championships to essentially being out on the street," Shaw said in a phone interview Friday. "But I can feel good knowing that I did everything possible to represent the Laker organization as well as I could."

A loyal employee even to this strange end, Shaw would not comment on any details of his Lakers situation. He said he had been avoiding media interviews until I phoned him, and was reluctant to speak in anything but general terms. "I have always held the Lakers in high standing, and I'm not going to change that now," he said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: After 11 years as a player and assistant coach, Brian Shaw won’t be returning to the Los Angeles Lakers.

That’s what he’s heard through the media, at least.  

The Lakers’ front office still hasn’t contacted Shaw to inform him he won’t be their next head coach. They instead gave the job to Mike Brown, the former sideline boss with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Let's be clear: passing over Shaw isn't the issue. Treating him this way is. The Buss clan, who own the NBA’s glamour franchise, must be more professional.

In today’s interconnected world, they have to talk with Shaw (after all, he was one of three final candidates to be their next bench-boss). Any platform would have worked: email, Facebook, Friendster, Skype, text message.

It’s hard not to think this was personal. Remember, Shaw was aligned with legendary coach Phil Jackson, who often clashed with the front office and is dating the owner’s daughter.

Shaw deserves credit for taking the high road. He avoided bashing the organization, and thanked them.

Bottom line: Shaw showed class. Buss and the Lakers could learn from him.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jun , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to retire Shaq’s number

The Los Angeles Lakers plan to honor their former self-proclaimed Superman, Shaquille O'Neal, by raising his No. 34 jersey to the rafters. "We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey," said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: His career is over. So are his feuds.

It appears Shaquille O`Neal has called it a day, announcing his retirement via twitter on Wednesday.  Everyone is caught up in the good vibes –even those who had beef with O`Neal.

Remember, O`Neal`s relationship with teams usually soured after he left. Like the Los Angeles Lakers. Like the Miami Heat. Or like the Phoenix Suns. 

The purple-and-gold have moved on and announced they`ll retire O`Neal`s number. This is a well deserved honour. The massive five-man won three consecutive championships in Hollywood.

Championships only tell part of the story. While manning the middle for the Lakers, O`Neal was, perhaps, the most dominating force the NBA ever saw.

So the Lakers and their former franchise face let the past die. Hopefully, others do the same and O`Neal gets his due.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , May , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jim Buss: We should have consulted Kobe about hiring Mike Brown

Lakers owner Jim Buss expressed regret that Kobe Bryant was not consulted about the hiring of Mike Brown. "Looking back on it, we should have contacted Kobe," Buss says. "Kobe said it was management's job to pick a coach. He just said, 'Defense first.' That's what we were doing, but we should have reached out to him.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s one thing not to consult Kobe Bryant about hiring Mike Brown as coach. It’s another thing to admit as much publicly.

There’s no reason for the Buss clan, who own the Los Angeles Lakers, to give interviews about hiring a new sideline boss and whether their superstar, Bryant, was involved.

There’s also no reason to admit fault in not involving Bryant. He's their employee. And, on paper, Brown meets Bryant’s criteria perfectly. 

So why not keep this all in-house? What possible good can come from letting the press know this?

Now they get to do what they love most: speculate. This is especially appealing because it involves the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA’s glamour franchise.

And Brown’s already tough job just got tougher.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen suggested, on ESPN Radio’s Mike And Mike In the Morning, that LeBron James, and not his former teammate, Michael Jordan, could end up being the greatest all-around player the league has ever seen.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game,” Pippen said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Repeat.

While you’re meditating please remember Scottie Pippen didn’t totally go there. He didn’t say LeBron James was better than Michael Jordan.

Pippen sure came close, though.

He said James may be a greater all-around player because of athleticism and size. And he said James can a dominate game in more ways than Jordan.

Purists will be offended. After all, Jordan has six championship rings. James has none. Jordan transcended basketball. James gave basketball a bad name with The Decision.

Still, Pippen, in theory, may have a point. James’ rare combination of size, speed, skill, and power gives him a unique advantage over any player to ever grace an NBA floor.   

When it’s all said and done, James may eventually be in the same sentence as Jordan. Not now, though.

Here’s the reality: James lacks Jordan’s will and competitiveness. Remember, Jordan overcame the Detroit Pistons’ harsh tactics; upset Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals; handled Clyde the Glyde and Rip City; twice withstood the best John Stockton and Karl Malone, two Hall of Famers, could offer; and defeated Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the Seattle Sonics.

James has done nothing of the sort. Yet.

Let’s be fair: Jordan had help. It’s interesting his ‘help’ (Pippen) is so quick to deflect praise away from his former teammate and supposed friend towards others.

Maybe Pippen’s statement says more about the rivalry between him and Jordan, and less about James’ place in the game.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

The good and bad of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries getting engaged

Kim Kardashian is engaged to Kris Humphries after six months of dating and quite a bit of PDA. Exciting as the news is, the real shocker is that the reality star kept her megawatt engagement ring hidden for a week.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s good and bad to NBA post Kris Humphries getting engaged to reality vixen Kim Kardashian, I suppose.

The good:  Kardashian will continue attending games, so ABC, ESPN, and TNT will continue panning to the beauty during games. For instance, fans got numerous shots of Eva Longoria during Spurs games before text-gate broke her and Tony Parker up.

The bad: we get more of this. Yes, Kardashian may include Humphries in her reality television show like her sister included Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom.

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Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron gives Thumbs Up to Lakers hiring Mike Brown

"I think the Lakers got them a great coach.” “Mike Brown was a great coach,” James said. “He gave us success that we hadn’t had before in that city. And it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mind set that we didn’t have.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the ultimate co-sign.

LeBron James, perhaps the NBA’s top player, endorsed the Los Angeles Lakers hiring Mike Brown to replace Phil Jackson on the sideline.

The Lakers passed over in-house candidates and long-time assistants Chuck Person and Brian Shaw to hire Brown.

But James is right: the Lakers got a great one in Brown. These two were together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and combined forces to get the club to the NBA Finals.

Most importantly, the former Coach of the Year is what the purple-and-gold need. Here`s why:

First, Brown made his bones as a defensive coach. He learned under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs, and refined his get-stops philosophy as the head man with the Cavaliers.

Last year, the Lakers got lazy. They stopped defending. Brown will hold them accountable in their own end.

Second, Brown has a track record for succeeding with superstars. Again, he clicked with James, so he should be able to get the most out of Kobe Bryant.

No two players are the same. And no two superstars are the same. However, precedence is on Brown`s side.

Third, a change was necessary. The Lakers had grown stale and needed a new voice from outside the organization.

The players would have been too comfortable with Shaw, which is perhaps why they were lobbying management to hire him.

Now the hard part begins. Expectations in Laker-land will be huge.

Brown is up to it, though. Just ask LeBron.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , May , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins: Thunder ‘didn’t trust each other’

The Thunder has toyed with this disturbing trend throughout the playoffs. Oklahoma City has trailed after one quarter in 11 of its 15 games this postseason. But this was as bad as it's ever been. “Tonight, we didn't trust each other,” said Kendrick Perkins. “We just got to have trust in each other. That's the bottom line.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Kendrick Perkins a touch too assertive right now?

Yes, he has playoff experience. Yes, he has a championship. Yes, he has a tell-it-like-it-is personality.

Still, it's a bit harsh to publicly declare that the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t trust each other in game three.

Perkins, after all, is new. He joined the Thunder at the trade deadline. He’s a valuable player, but hardly a superstar. That role belongs to Kevin Durant, who isn’t calling out teammates to reporters.

So why should Perkins?

Another question: why is Perkins calling a timeout early in the third quarter of game three? That's the coaching staff's job. Only a few great players can get away with calling for a stoppage in play.

To be fair: I like the burly center. I like the simplicity of his game. If healthy, he’s probably the difference between the Boston Celtics winning and losing game seven of the 2010 NBA Finals.

He just needs to take it down a notch.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shannon Brown: Ì did not sleep with Pau Gasol`s woman

Ok let me put a end to this right now before it goes any further. I DID NOT SLEEP WITH woman!!! First and last time addressing it!

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The last few weeks haven`t been easy on Pau Gasol.

Lakers-nation is blaming him for getting ousted from the playoffs; Snoop Dogg called him out in a twitter tirade; his coach slapped him in game three of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Dallas Mavericks; his personal life is a mess.

Yesterday, teammate Shannon Brown denied sleeping with his girl, or ex-girl, via twitter. Here's the question: with all that has occurred, can the Spaniard return to the purple-and-gold in 2012?

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

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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Charge or block: Darrell Arthur’s facial on Nick Collison?

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Yes, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday to force a do-or-die game seven on Sunday.

The real debate will be this: charge or block?

After all, Memphis reserve Darrell Arthur threw down a facial for the ages on Nick Collison, but the basket was disallowed because the referees called a charge.

Nobody disagreed more than Memphis` Marc Gasol, who, through his facial expressions, either thought it was a block or finally saw the replay of Lakers coach Phil Jackson abusing brother Pau in game three against the Dallas Mavericks.

Charge or block? Watch the video, make the call, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.  

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mavericks complete sweep, what’s next for Kobe, Pau, and Lakers?

Jason Terry (32 points) nails nine 3-pointers and his teammates add 11 more as the Mavericks advance to the conference finals with a 122-86 thumping of the Lakers.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Kings are dead. The Kings are dead. Fourth quarter cheap shots aside, they went out with a whimper. Not a bang.

The Dallas Mavericks blew out the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference semi-finals, sweeping the two-time defending champions out of the playoffs.

And it wasn’t close. The Mavericks won by 36 points. Team Cuban has to be favoured to emerge from the west.

Back to the soap opera known as the Lakers. This is supposedly Phil Jackson’s final game on the sideline. The Zen-Master is done, and he’ll retreat to his ranch in Montana, cabin in Belize, house boat in Alaska, or some other remote location for 'introspection'.

What about Pau Gasol? The Spanish post has been taking criticism from fans, TMZ, and, worst of all, the infamous and notorious Snoop Dogg. Something has to give.

There are questions about Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, and the Lakers’ bench. Andrew Bynum may be dangled as trade bait to land a certain post from the Orlando Magic, who is set to be a free agent in 2012.

Either way, changes are coming. Only Kobe Bryant is safe.

--Oly Sandor.

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