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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.

Link

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."

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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."

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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.”

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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 Hoopsvibe

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."

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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 Hoopsvibe

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.

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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?

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Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Game-Seven Prediction: Lakers 95, Celtics 88.

The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.

Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:
The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.

Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.

This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.

The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.

Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.

Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.

Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.

Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.

That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:

1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.     

2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.

Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.

Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.

Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.

Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?  

Kobe’s Lakers won the title. It’s over. Vol. 2010 NBA Finals game 6
Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 J.N.

Kobe’s Lakers won the title. It’s over. Vol. 2010 NBA Finals game 6

What happened? The game was over when Kendrick Perkins got injured. The Lakers took their hearts. After Kobe questioned his teammates’ hearts, they proved that they had more than enough for game 6 in Los Angeles. Pau Gasol finished with a near triple double: 17 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 blocks. Derek Fisher didn’t need to do much. Kendrick Perkins is done. Rajon Rondo took a vicious elbow from Ron Artest that required stitches. The Lakers got this and Kobe got his 5th ring.

Read More
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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shannon Brown ‘Getting On Up’ in Game-SIx of the NBA Finals

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom is grabbing rebounds and bouncing a little when dribbling up-court. Ron Artest doesn't resemble a lost tourist in the triangle. Pau Gasol asserts his will in the paint. Instead of pacing the sideline and dropping quotes about collecting oneself, Phil Jackson is laying back in his throne -also known as The Ergonomically Correct Chair. Kobe Braynt is 'facilitating' rather than scoring. Sasha Vujacic, the self proclaimed machine, is knocking down three-pointers, alienating opponents, and styling his straight-outta-Slovenia do. And those celebs' rocking courtside seats at Staples Center are flashing their Hollywood smiles for ABC.

If you haven't guessed it, these are signs the Los Angeles Lakers are winning. However, there is a notable omission: Shannon Brown's highlight reel jams.

The purple-and-gold always seems to win when the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Gets On Up like Jodeci and rocks the rim for two points.

(Yes, HoopsVibe News is referencing the classically cheesy R&B group from the 1990s. And sadly, HoopsVibe News is old enough to legitimately do so.) 

Consider game-six of the NBA Finals. First Brown rammed home a one-handed breakaway jam and then he rubbed his man off an Odom back-pick, grabbed an alley-oop toss and converted an amazing jam.

Both dunks inspired teammates and fans. Not surprisingly, the Lakers won game-six of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

And they're hoping -at least in California - that Brown repeats his aerial antics in game-seven, even if it's got that Jodeci thing going on.   

Got thoughts? Did Brown Get On Up like Jodeci.

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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Kendrick Perkins the difference between Boston Winning and Losing NBA Title?

"The Boston Celtics might go to Game 7 without center Kendrick Perkins.

He landed awkwardly trying to haul in an offensive rebound midway through the first quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night and suffered a right knee sprain.

Perkins was hopeful, saying: "I'm going to try to give it a go [on Thursday]." But a team source told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan: "He's done."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Don't let his modest numbers deceive you. Kendrick Perkins could be the difference between the Boston Celtics winning and losing the championship.

The NBA Finals will be decided in the paint; the team that dominates down-low will host a victory celebration, while the team that gets dominated will spend their life wondering what could've been.

Perkins - despite his limited offensive skill and affinity for arguing fouls - is a throwback. He bangs. He competes. And he intimidates.

For instance, Perkins shut Pau Gasol down in game-five, which, not coincidentally, the Celtics won. In fact, Boston's five-man was so effective experts were again calling the Spaniard soft.

Gasol, however, was far more confident when Perkins left game-six with an injury. He ate the smaller Glen Davis up. Veterans Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace weren't much better, either.

And the Los Angeles Lakers, as a team, successfully attacked the basket, in large part, because Perkins wasn't there to deter them. Guards Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown were able to get to the hoop whenever they liked.

Right now, Perkins' status is unknown for game-seven. What isn't unknown is how important he is to Boston.      

Got thoughts on this?   

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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Izzo staying at MSU, Cleveland interested in Scott and Woodson?

Tom Izzo is staying at Michigan State, turning down a chance to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers and and perhaps LeBron James.

"I'm pleased to say I am here for life at Michigan State," Izzo said in a statement released by the school on Tuesday night.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Tom Izzo made the right decision -not just for himself, but also for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The NBA is an adjustment. The game is different; the players are millionaire businessmen not teenagers. And many great college coaches have failed in the pros: John Calipari, Mike Montgomery, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian.

Then there was the tiny issue of LeBron James' pending free agency. Izzo would be in quite the quagmire if he accepted the Cavaliers job and James signed elsewhere. 

In the end, the risk was too great. So Izzo decided to stay with Michigan State and become an all-time great in the college ranks.

Meanwhile, Cleveland will continue searching for a sideline boss. Byron Scott is the frontrunner; however, the former Hornets coach wants to replace Phil Jackson in LA -if the Zen-Master leaves.

Mike Woodson, who was recently fired by the Atlanta Hawks, is also under consideration. And this is where the musical chairs could occur. Suppose Cleveland hires Woodson and James leaves. The Cavaliers could replace James with Joe Johnson, another superstar free agent who Woodson coached in Atlanta.

The next few months will be interesting in Ohio and throughout the NBA.

Got thoughts on this?

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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lakers need Lamar Odom to ‘man up’

"I haven't been sick all season … now I'm sick in the Finals," said Odom after the Lakers' 92-86 loss to the Celtics here in Game 5. "Had to put my hard hat on just to get out of bed. It was tough.

"We get to go home and I'll be in my own bed in my own house," he said. "And get to see my wife."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Lamar Odom missed the press conference where Kobe Bryant told his Laker teammates to 'man up and play'.

Complaining about the flu, wanting your own bed, and needing to see your wife doesn't exactly qualify as manning up. In fact, it's copping out. 

This, however, is typical Odom.

At his best, he's a wonderful talent, capable of playing all five positions and stuffing every category in the box sheet. At his worst, he's a passenger, disappearing in the clutch and sometimes for entire games.

So Odom is a enigma, which is unfortunate for the Lakers because he's their barometer. When he plays well, they rarely lose. When he struggles, they become vulnerable.

And what Odom shows for game-six and seven will determine if the Lakers can come back against the Celtics.

Got thoughts on this?     

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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hornets trading Collison to the Pacers for Jones, Rush, and/or Hansbrough?

"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.

And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.

The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.

No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice 

The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.

With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.

Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.

Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.

Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.

However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.

All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.            
 
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.

Enter Indiana.

They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.

All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.

That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.      
           
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?