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Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwayne Wade: ‘everyone’s shooting for’ Lakers, not Heat

Dwyane Wade isn't ready to buy into all the hype about the Heat, who added LeBron James and Chris Bosh last week.

Wade says the Lakers, who have won the NBA's last two championships, are the team to beat.

The Lakers are the champions and we know the Lakers are very good," Wade said Wednesday. "That's the team that everyone's shooting for and they should be. Not the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers."


HoopsVibe’s Very Call: You can’t fault Dwyane Wade for trying.

In fact, you have to admire the superstar’s failed attempts at running a little smokescreen interference and deferring public enemy number one status to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, the purple-and-gold is still the team to beat. After all, to be the champs, you have to beat the champs.

No, the Miami Heat – with the controversial way The Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade were assembled - is the team everyone will be shooting for.

No doubt about it.

Everyone - your granny, pastor, milkman, and even dog - has an opinion on The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, culminating in LeBron James breaking up with Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and state of Ohio on national television.

Very quickly, the Heat has become the NBA’s undisputed villain in a plot that’s part Shakespeare, part Vince McMahon WWE. 

If Wade thought the attention was bad in 2007 following their NBA Title win, then he hasn’t seen anything yet.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Fisher on re-signing with Lakers: ‘let the hunt for six begin’

The Lakers agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the veteran guard, bringing back a steadying locker-room influence and one of their top clutch shooters of the last decade. The contract was believed to be worth about $10.5 million, including a player option in the third year.

"I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles," Fisher said in a statement. "While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off-season, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin. . . ."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Listen closely and you’ll hear Laker-nation – led by the great Kobe Bryant - letting out a massive sigh of relief.

After all, the purple-and-gold had to have Derek Fisher. The emphasis is on ‘had to’. It wasn’t optional. 

The veteran is 36 years old, flops like he`s on the Italian national soccer team, has limits on both ends of the floor, and was surprisingly given the security of a three-year deal.

However, Fisher oozes leadership, has Robert Horry style skills down the stretch, and mediates like the UN when resident superstar Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson have a ‘tiff’.

Best of all, he can groom his replacement Steve Blake. Like Fisher, Blake is an assassin disguised as a nice guy.

Sure, the former University of Maryland star looks like he should be leading the Dungeons and Dragons club at the local comic shop instead of Jackson’s triple-post set or playing internet chess on Friday evenings instead of the cross-town Clippers.

Don’t get it twisted: Blake is a good guy off-court, but feisty as hell on it. In December of 2007, he sparked the Blazers’ turnaround by breaking chairs and fighting teammates at a now infamous practice. And he’s also known to dabble in mixed martial arts –for fun.

Look for Fisher to take to Blake. Look for Fisher to groom Blake. And this will cement Fisher’s legacy long after he’s gone.

This will be a great relief for Laker-nation.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No thanks Miami: Fisher expected to re-sign with LA Lakers

Derek Fisher received an offer of the veteran's minimum from the Heat over the weekend, but he is likely to re-sign with the Lakers.

Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Thanks, but no thanks.
This will likely be Derek Fisher's response to the star-studded Miami Heat putting the full court press on him over the weekend.
After all, oil slick GM and soon-to-be coach Pat Riley showered him with praise in their meeting. And LeBron James, in his first act as a member of the Heat, greeted him at the airport.
However, there's a problem: Miami has zero cap space. After their recent spending spree, they could only offer Fisher a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.
Of course, the veteran guard has a pretty nice offer in his backpocket. The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are offering a two-year, $5 million pact.
So why would Fisher leave the purple-and-gold and pass on a chance at three-peating? Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade aside, why would Fisher uproot his family from his home in California for less money and term?
Throw in Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom, and you get the sense Fisher will soon be re-upping with the Lakers.
Frankly, this is the way it should be, the way it should end for the 36 year old combo guard.
--Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Pat Riley and Derek Fisher meeting in Miami on Saturday

Lakers free agent point guard Derek Fisher has a meeting scheduled with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Saturday, according to a source close to the situation.


HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call:  Does he join Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the upstart Miami Heat or does he re-sign with Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers?

Yes, Derek Fisher has a dilemma.

However, negotiations between the veteran point guard and the Lakers are progressing because the club raised their initial offer of one-year at $2.5 million.

And Fisher, at 36 years of age, would be hesitant to uproot his young family from LA and bolt on the purple-and-gold.

Of course, Heat GM Pat Riley, also known as the walking oil slick in the front office, is on a roll with his ‘Three Kings’ line-up of Bosh, James, and Wade.

Seriously, it’s like ‘Riles’ has jumped in the Hot Tub Time Machine and turned back the clock to the mid-eighties when he was, coincidentally, the famous coach of the purple-and-gold.

So what would seem a courtesy meeting between Riley and Fisher on Saturday could easily become something more.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Foes to friends? Shaq to sign with San Antonio Spurs?

The Spurs are the first choice of free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal, a source told FanHouse. O'Neal is looking to play two more seasons in the NBA. The source said that San Antonio and Atlanta are at the top of O'Neal's list and there is interest from both sides.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are complete opposites –like night versus day, sport utility truck versus European race car, and country rock versus glam’ hip hop.

But these former foes are on the verge of becoming friends. And a partnership - however unlikely the possibility seemed, say, five years ago - would work for both sides.

After years of doing battle during the regular season and playoffs, after years of trading insults on-and-off court, Shaquille O’Neal – once the glitzy star of the Los Angeles Lakers - is contemplating signing with the low key San Antonio Spurs.

Three words for Shaq and the Spurs: get it done.

O’Neal needs to join a veteran-laden contender like San Antonio, where he’ll be held accountable by players and the coach.

What attitude could he cope Tim Duncan, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and possibly the greatest power forward of all-time?

How could he talk back to Gregg Popovich, the league’s resident tough guy on the bench and a former military man?

He couldn’t.

And O’Neal would even have to watch how he treats co-stars like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who have both won three NBA championships.

However, this isn’t a one-sided arrangement. O’Neal – if healthy and that’s a big if these days – can still draw double-teams down-low and kick for the Spurs.

Best of all, he would provide a moxie; a confidence that it’s his inherent right to play in May and June for the championship.

In other words, exactly what was missing from the Spurs’ line-up when they meekly bowed out to the Phoenix Suns, an opponent they used to own, in the first round of the 2010 post-season.

These two former rivals must join forces. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ray Allen re-signs with Boston Celtics for 2 years, $20 million

The Boston Celtics' new Big Three will stay together to try for a second NBA title. Ray Allen confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract to return to Boston.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Big Three is back in business, and returning to the Boston Celtics to complete the mission of winning a second NBA Title.

Of course, the green-and-white surprised the basketball world by advancing to the NBA Finals, where they lost a heartbreaking game seven to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Today, Allen inked a very fair two year deal for $20 million. Paul Pierce just re-upped for four seasons. Doc Rivers delayed retiring to Orlando. Kevin Garnett is under contract until July, 2012.

With their veterans returning, expect the Celtics to add blending pieces this off-season and take another run at a championship next spring.

-- Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaquille O’Neal would be ‘The Big Problem’ with Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have offered Shaquille O'Neal a two-year contract that starts at $5.8 million per season, according to NBA sources close to both the team and the player.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Is The Big Aristotle about to become The Big ATL?

Reports indicate Shaquille O'Neal is considering the Hawks' multi-year deal; however, it remains to be seen if this would be a fit for both player and team.

Shaq is desperate for another NBA Title. Unfortunately, good but not great Atlanta is hardly the spot for him to taste championship glory for the fifth time in his illustrious career.

Even if the Hawks signed the massive post, they wouldn't be better than the past two Eastern Conference champions: the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. And they'd struggle with the Cleveland Cavaliers -provided Lebron James does the expected and re-signs later this week.

Meanwhile, Atlanta needs bench help, and not an aging five-man who spends a minimum of twenty games per season on the bench rocking designer suits.

When O'Neal is fit, he would demand minutes and touches, which would likely alienate a young, talented, and temperamental frontline of Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.

However, the biggest potential issue would be with rookie coach Larry Drew because O'Neal has clashed with almost every sideline boss he ever had.

For instance, after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, he publicly slammed Phil Jackson and Pat Riley -both of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

This brings us back to Drew. The former back-up point guard is a career assistant, who got the head gig in Atlanta for one reason: he was cheap.  

So Drew has less credibility than former Phoenix Suns head coach Terry Porter, who O'Neal sabotaged, undercut, and compromised before he was replaced at mid-season by Alvin Gentry.

What would happen when Drew tells O'Neal to lose weight or defend the pick-and-roll?

Simply put, he can't. Frankly, Drew lacks the pedigree to truly hold O'Neal accountable. And this would surely become a problem for an impressionable team.

On the surface, this partnership sounds nice. Both O'Neal and Atlanta should take a pass, though. It's for the best.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Steve Blake or Derek Fisher?

Steve Blake has agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers, according to a report from John Canzanao.

According to FanHouse, the deal is worth $16 million over four seasons.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It shouldn't be one or the other, but it is.
Word is the Los Angeles Lakers have signed Steve Blake to replace longtime favourite Derek Fisher at point guard.
Blake is a solid addition. He's smart, can stretch defenses with his range, and rarely gets beat off the dribble. The classic table-setter has a mean streak, too: legend has it he smashed a chair and brawled with teammates at an infamous Trail Blazer's practice in December of 2007, which helped save Portland's season.
So Blake fits. Just not at the expense of Fisher.
Sure, 'D-Fish' has weaknesses. The veteran struggles with the grind of the regular season and can't keep point guards in front of him on defense.
However, experience matters. Fisher won game four of the 2010 NBA Finals with 16 points in the second half. His 22 points kept the purple-and-gold in game five of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, setting up Ron Artest to play hero with his last second put-back.
Numbers and statistics don't do him justice, though. His greatest strength is leadership. After all, Fisher smoothed over the tension between Coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. And he mentors younger teammates.
There's no way to measure his contribution. Unfortunately, the Lakers are doing exactly that, and management is stuck on one number: Fisher's 2010 salary.
They'll have Fisher back for 2011, but only if he takes a 50% pay cut on his $5 million per year salary.
Coming off a championship, this is a no-no. In fact, it's an insult. And Fisher - a proud person - will interpret it as such.
This is unfortunate. The Lakers would best be served with Blake and Fisher, not Blake instead of Fisher.
-- Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts?  Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   
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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zen to Stay: Phil Jackson will coach Lakers in 2011

"Count me in," Jackson said in a statement. "After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He couldn't pass on the possibility of a three-peat.

After much deliberation, thought, and posturing, Phil Jackson - the Hall of Fame sideline boss - will be back to coach the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson's return had been complicated by a power struggle in the Lakers' front office and ownership's request he take a reduction on his $12 million per season contract.

Of course, there are lingering issues for Jackson and the Buss clan, who own the Lakers, to settle. For instance, coach and ownership must agree on the size of his pay cut and whether free agents Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Derek Fisher will be re-signed.    

Still, the chance to win three consecutive championships for the fourth time in his career was too much for The Zen to ignore.

-- O.Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Raptors offering Bosh and Jack to Lakers for Bynum and Odom?

"The Raptors would like to get something in a sign-and-trade for Bosh, but they likely won’t deal him in the East. The Lakers are expected to offer Andrew Bynum, a legitimate low post center, and Lamar Odom, and take back Jarrett Jack, whom the Raptors would like to move."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: All they can do is make the best of a bad situation.

After all, franchise face Chris Bosh seems destined to leave the Toronto Raptors as a free agent when the market opens July 1st. Executive Bryan Colangelo admitted as much at a recent press conference.

There's no easy way to lose a 26 year old superstar. However, there's an easier way.

For instance, if Chris Bosh joins fellow free agents LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade in Miami or Chicago, he'll likely leave a year and $30 million on the table. And the Raptors will get nothing in return.

If Bosh inks a deal with the Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade, he can get the longest term and most money available. And the club can get something back, which is better than nothing.

Enter the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time defending champs are offering Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Bosh and Jarrett Jack.

Such a deal would achieve two things. First, Bynum is a legit five-man. His length, size, and ability to plug the middle would transform the Raptors into a more defensive side. And skilled post Andrea Bargnani could slide to the four-spot, his natural position.

Second, Bosh would be out west. He wouldn't be in the same conference. He wouldn't drop into Air Canada Centre several times a year with his new superstar teammates. He wouldn't win championships with the the Bulls or Heat. And all of this would allow the Raptors to save face.

Of course, the ball is in Bosh's court. As an unrestricted free agent, he holds most of the cards.

All Colangelo can do is offer a sign-and-trade. Joining Kobe Bryant and the NBA's best team may be enough for Bosh to re-consider his plans to partner with James and Wade, especially if he gets the maximum term and money.

This is the Raptors' only card, so Colangelo better do everything to play it.

Got thoughts?       

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Sunday , Jun , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant to Lionel Messi: ‘You’re the Best’

With a few casual words, spaced between bites of his lunch, Kobe Bryant chalked up an assist in helping modern soccer’s greatest player achieve his full potential.

It was the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Bryant, just a few days short of leading basketball’s Team USA to the gold medal, spotted some members of the Argentina men’s soccer team huddled around a table in an athletes village food court.

“Where’s Messi?” Bryant demanded. “I want to see Lionel Messi.”

Soon enough, the Los Angeles Lakers star was locked in conversation with Messi, then 21 and with the soccer world at his feet, in Spanish.

Bryant was 29 and had long since established himself as a man of the world. Messi, already a superstar in his own sport with both his national team and Spanish club Barcelona, was more shy back then than he is today, even with millions in the bank and the chance to lead Argentina to an Olympic gold medal.

The American did most of the talking. And as he left with a handshake and a wave, Bryant turned over his shoulder and uttered words Messi has carried with him since.

“You’re the man, Messi,” Bryant said. “You’re the best. You’re not just good, you’re the best.”


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  It seems Kobe Bryant, the world's greatest basketball player, is a pretty fair judge of talent when it comes to soccer.

After all, Lionel Messi is 'the best'. The jitter-bug forward has emerged as the superstar of the 2010 World Cup, dominating for his native Argentina. Before dazzling in South Africa, he led Barcelona to glory in the Champions League tournament in 2009.

Clearly, this is Messi's time.

Of course, this is a basketball website, but HoopsVibe News always recognizes and respects talent, so click the video below to discover what Bryant was talking about. 

Was Bryant right? Is Messi the best?


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Tuesday , Jun , 22 , 2010 Andrew Flint

Khloe Kardashin buys Lamar Odom $400,000 Rolls Royce for winning NBA Title

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Boston Celtic fans may call her `the ugly sister`, but Khloe Kardashian knows how to reward hubsand Lamar Odom for winning an NBA Title with the Los Angeles Lakers. Various websites are reporting that the reality television star bought Odom a white Rolls Royce Phantom as a victory present. Word is her little gift cost a cool four hundred thousand dollars. Watch the clip below to see Lamar`s new ride, and get at us with your thoughts in the comment box.  
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Monday , Jun , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Video: The Best Moments in Championship Parade History

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Today, the world champion Los Angeles Lakers are holding their victory celebration.

Of course, HoopsVibe News will provide coverage and/or video if the purple-and-gold engage in memorable antics, so check back later in the day for an update.

However, we thought it prudent to first celebrate the top moments in championship parade history. Check out the clip below -if you dare. 

Got thoughts?

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Sunday , Jun , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest releases Champion

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In his now legendary interview following game-seven of the NBA Finals, Ron Artest told the world he'd be releasing a new hip hop single called Champion.

Well, the popular Los Angeles Laker didn`t waste any time.

Artest`s latest work is out, so take a listen - if you dare - to the 'Tru Warrier' and get at us with thoughts in the comment box. 

Got thoughts? Get at us in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jun , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan’s son on Kobe Bryant: he’s not close to my Dad

"No One ...  And I mean NO ONE should ever com par kobe Bryant to my dad an say that he is anywhere near close to my dad."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Jordan's son - a member of Florida Central's University basketball team - was feeling sentimental because of Father's Day.

Of course, the younger Jordan is going to have his old man's back. However, he's wrong about not being able to make a comparison between the two greats.

Kobe has five championships, a gold medal, two playoff MVPs and a regular season MVP, while MJ has six championships, a gold medal, and 6 playoff MVPs to go with recognition as the game's best player during the regular season.

Sure, Bryant's numbers aren't superior to Jordan's, but - after the Lakers 2010 NBA Title - you can now have a legitimate conversation about who's better.

And while Jordan's extra championship and Defensive Player of the Year award gives him a slight edge, Bryant's career is far from over.

Got thoughts on Bryant vs. Jordan?


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Friday , Jun , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: ‘I got one more than Shaq’

Kobe Bryant: "I got one more (championship) than Shaq. You can take that to the bank."

(Bryant following the Lakers defeating the Celtics in game-seven of the NBA Finals to win their second straight NBA Title.)

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Old wounds haven't healed, especially when dealing with the World Wars between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

No surprise here, though. All playoff Bryant pretended - somewhat convincingly -  he hadn't given much consideration to what a fifth championship would mean for his legacy (O'Neal has four championships).

HoopsVibe News respectfully calls bullsh*t on this.

Bryant isn't the devil most see him as. And he isn't a saint, either. The truth, like most things, lies in the middle.

Bryant, in fact, is probably a somewhat normal person off the court. As such, he experiences normal emotions -like jealousy and anger. So on Thursday evening he couldn't resist taking a shot at his former partner turned rival in O'Neal.

Fair enough.

A word to the wise: critics should be prepared for Bryant to win his sixth championship because it's coming -and soon.

Got thoughts on Kobe's post game attack on Shaq?

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Friday , Jun , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest and Doris Burke: Greatest Interview Ever?

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: From Tha Malice N' Tha Palace to charming the world with a sincere and honest interview following the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Title in a close game-seven against the upstart Boston Celtics.

Yes, it's been a wild ride for Ron Artest, the somewhat unstable, but good natured three-man for the world champion Lakers. Even his harshest critic had to smile after watching Queensbridge shout out his hood, give props to the club, thank his doctor and psychiatrist, and promote his new hip hop single in a quick conversation with ABC's stunned sideline reporter Doris Burke.

There's only question left for Artest: what on earth will he do next?

Is this the greatest interview ever? Watch Artest in the clip below and get at us with thoughts?  


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Friday , Jun , 18 , 2010 Andrew Flint

Video: Game Seven Highlights between Celtics and Lakers

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Was tonight your wedding anniversary and you had to 'go to dinner' instead of just doing drive-through twice with your significant other? Was there an emergency that forced you to the hospital? Was there a foul up of epic proportions at work that required you to stay late? Or, did you girlfriend annex the remote and turn to her favorite reality drivel? Be honest. Bottom line: you missed an epic game-seven between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers and need a recap. Well, HoopsVibe News won't judge. Instead, we'll encourage you to click the video below and watch NBA.com's highlight package. Go thoughts on this?
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Friday , Jun , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Sweet Repeat: Bryant and Lakers win game seven and defend NBA Title

Beating Boston for the first time in a Game 7, the Lakers came up champions again after trailing in the last quarter of the last game of their season.

Kobe Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying to beat the  Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  In game-seven of the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers showed that defense wins championships.

After all, tonight’s game was supposed to be a dream match-up between the Celtics and Lakers, but – at least on the offensive end – it resembled a bit of nightmare.

Both teams couldn’t execute their offensive sets. Both teams couldn’t hit shots. So both teams dug-in, defended, and battled.

Take the victorious Lakers: Kobe Bryant, the Finals MVP, shot a horrendous 6-for-24 from the floor, but grabbed 15 huge rebounds; Pau Gasol pulled in 18 tough rebounds, which offset his missed chippies and free throws; and Ron Artest – who thanked his psychiatrist in a classic Ron-Ron post-game interview – hit clutch shots, however, his greatest contribution was battling Celtic superstar Paul Pierce.

As a group, the purple-and-gold overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and won their second consecutive championship by getting stops. For instance, they held the Celtics to just 79 points on 40% shooting from the floor.

Lamar Odom sparked the turnaround. The forward entered the game in the third quarter with the Lakers trailing 49-37 and looking desperate.

Odom used his considerable length and versatility to score, rebound, and most importantly, provide energy. And his contribution was far greater than his modest stat line of 7 points and 7 rebounds.   

Boston led for most of the game and looked capable of pulling off the upset to win their second championship in three years.

Their offense went cold for long stretches of the second half. For instance, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ top scorers, were a combined 8-for-29 from the floor.

And the talented bench – which so often provided a lift when the starters struggled – had little impact. Of course, the reserves were short-handed with Rasheed Wallace replacing the injured Kendrick Perkins in the starting-five.

Tonight, Bryant’s Lakers defeated the Celtics for the first time in a game-seven duel, something greats like Jerry West and Magic Johnson failed to accomplish.

Winning back-to-back championships cements this team’s place in history. And their leader and best player, Bryant, keeps solidifying his standing as an all-time great.

And the Lakers, the NBA’s glamour team, achieved this feat with grimy, blue-collar defense.

Got thoughts on the Lakers winning game-seven and consecutive championships?

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Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy to Ron Artest: ‘Say Queensbridge Now’

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ron Artest is pure gold.

Who else would get Craig Sager to shoutout their home of Queensbridge, New York in a post-game interview after winning game-five of the Western Conference Finals? And who else would openly discuss their old neighbourhood with the media?

Well, Ron-Ron would.

However, the Lakers' resident tough guy isn't above some soft tactics, especially with a championship on the line. In game-five of the NBA Finals, Artest flopped to the ground - like the San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili - after getting 'shoved' by the Celtics' Rajon Rondo.

Artest weighs 270 pounds, while Rondo tips the scale at, perhaps, 190. Tale of the tape aside, Artest's actions are forgivable because his flop was rewarded with a technical foul being called on Rondo and drew the humorous rankling of broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy.

Watch the clip below and tell us if Artest's flop would make Queensbridge proud?