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Tuesday , Apr , 20 , 2010 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

The Knicks Chick on Why the Celtics Are Going Home and the First-Round Match-ups

HoopsVibe is proud to welcome Marija Kero, better known to many of you as The Knicks Chick, to the team. Marija will be checking in with videoblogs covering everything from her beloved Knicks to Ron Artest's latest hair-related mishap. In her first piece, Marija shares her thoughts on Boston's bad temper, the surging Mavs and the ghosts of NYK past appearing in the postseason. 

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Monday , Apr , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derek Fisher Doesn’t Plan to Retire Yet

Derek Fisher is 35 and doesn't have a contract beyond this season with the Lakers.

Fisher's thoughts are on helping the Lakers win consecutive championships, on playing his best to help the cause.

"I put aside as far as me thinking this could be it in terms of my last postseason playing basketball," Fisher said. "I know for sure that's not true.

"This is the last year on my contract. I know I want to play basketball after this. I will play basketball as long as somebody is willing to offer me a job. But that doesn't mean that it's going to be on a team that can win a championship.

"So, from that perspective now is the only thing that matters. You can't think about next year. You can't think about the past. It's just about right now."
 
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Monday , Apr , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant: The Playoffs Don’t Feel Different

After Oklahoma City's 87-79 loss to the Lakers on Sunday in Game 1, I asked Kevin Durant what felt different about being out there during his first experience in the playoffs.

"Nothing really to be honest," said Durant. "A lot of people say it would be different, but it felt the same as the regular season and it was just fun and exciting to be out there. I wish we came out on the other side of the 'W', but it’s a long series."

Scott Brooks stressed multiple times that he didn't feel his team suffered from nervousness.

"There were stretches during the game where he was pressing," said Brooks of Durant. Brooks expressed liking that part of his performance, as well as what he did defensively.
 
Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC
Sunday , Apr , 18 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC

I'll be taking quick notes as I watch the game here. Feel free to drop in your comments below. They update in real time.

- What is Andrew Bynum drinking? A pre-game shot shows him chugging a foaming red liquid from a water bottle.

- OKC tosses the ball to Durant for the first play.  He dribbles around for a few seconds before tossing up an awkward brick. Bad opening.

- Pau connects on a shot with so much arc the ball came down with snow on it.

- That red stuff is obviously working for Bynum, who connects on his first attempt.

- Durant botches an open layup. Let's hope that's a fumble and not a sign of the pressure getting to him.

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[pic] Sasha Vujacic’s Ankle Matches the LAL Road Jersey
Sunday , Apr , 18 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

[pic] Sasha Vujacic’s Ankle Matches the LAL Road Jersey

 Yikes. I saw something similar when I tore a ligament in my ankle, only the purple-and-black cloud eventually ended up eclipsing two-thirds of my foot, with the upper extremity of the bruise creeping out of my sock. The discolouration itself wasn't painful to the touch, but it was still disconcerting to see that my ankle looked like an eggplant. Still, the fact that it dissipated quite quickly encouraged me during the early stages of my rehab, and it should do the same for Machine.  Credit to Lakers.com for the image of Sasha Vujacic's unsightly ankle after his recent injury.

 

All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes
Saturday , Apr , 17 , 2010 Oly Sandor

All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes

The Quick Hit: For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Orlando Magic, it’s all or nothing.

The all is having Commissioner David Stern hand over the Larry O’Brien trophy in two months and pronounce them world champions in a champagne soaked ceremony.

Only the all will do. Only the all will satisfy their demanding fan base. Only the all will satisfy their demanding owners, who have taken on multi-million dollar luxury tax payments for this precise moment.

While nothing, or falling short of an NBA Title, will force Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Orlando to make wholesale changes this off-season. Right or wrong, fair or not, these are the stakes when playing for a contender.

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Thursday , Apr , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson Fined $35K for Comments about Refs

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Jackson was fined for comments made to the media on April 13.
 
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Wednesday , Apr , 07 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Lakers?

Gregg Popovich, the brutally honest and sometimes abrasive coach of the San Antonio Spurs, summed up what every team in the Western Conference was thinking when he told us all that no one wanted to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. In doing so, he broke one of the unwritten rules of sports: Never let your opponent know you're afraid of them. You can be afraid and they can know you're afraid, but you can't actually say it. Once you do, they have an advantage over you. They don't only know that they're better than you, they know that you know they're better than you. And at that point, they're free to impose their will upon you and send you home in four or five games.

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Monday , Apr , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson: The Refs Turned on Us

"Tonight they wouldn't let Ron play the way he played prior to [the technical foul call]," Jackson said. "[Ginobili] could hook Ron; [Artest] didn't get what was going on and ended up getting too many fouls on him."

All the calls were made by 25-year NBA veteran referee Bennett Salvatore.

San Antonio was leading 40-37 at the time of the double-technical call and finished the half on an 8-0 run.

"The way we ended up the half I think turned the referees against us and when you do that, that's an unfortunate thing," Jackson said. "Ron didn't back off and didn't read that official well enough to know, you got to back off, you got to lighten the load, he's not going to take any more of that. Ginobili forced the issue and got the calls."
 

 

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Monday , Apr , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Greg Popovich: Nobody Wants Lakers in First Round

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, speaking before Sunday's game in Los Angeles, knows his team is the seventh seed in the West thanks to its two-game winning streak and wants no part of falling back into the eighth seed and a playoff matchup with the top-seeded Lakers.

"The ones that say, 'We don't care who we play,' they're full of baloney," Popovich said. "We're all trying to hide from the Lakers in the first round and that's the truth.

"Really, it's like, 'Who do you want to play in the first round?,'" Popovich continued before sarcastically answering his question. "Oh, the Lakers! We'll play the Lakers!"

San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Portland are within a game of each other to determine the sixth, seventh and eighth seeds in the West. Popovich said the playoff race is the toughest it's ever been.

"We're all kind of fighting to try get our position or move up and nobody is giving any ground to anybody else," he said. 

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End of Zen: Kobe Bryant’s extension complicates Phil Jackson’s return as L.A. Lakers’ coach
Sunday , Apr , 04 , 2010 Oly Sandor

End of Zen: Kobe Bryant’s extension complicates Phil Jackson’s return as L.A. Lakers’ coach

The Quick Hit: There are many theories on the Los Angeles Lakers' recent struggles.

Perhaps, they’re bored having all but locked up first in the Western Conference standings. Perhaps, players are distracted by the trappings of Hollywood. Perhaps, they miss injured giant Andrew Bynum more than they care to acknowledge. Perhaps, Kobe Bryant’s on-going contract negotiations and unknown future was unsettling. And perhaps, tension exists between Bryant and Pau Gasol over shots and touches.

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Saturday , Apr , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant Signs Three-Year Extension with Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Kobe Bryant to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” said Kupchak. “Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA Championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
 
The Big Appeal: why Kobe Bryant and LeBron James like New York Knicks
Monday , Mar , 29 , 2010 Oly Sandor

The Big Appeal: why Kobe Bryant and LeBron James like New York Knicks

Why leave a championship contender for an organization years away from contending?

This is the question Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will face if either leaves the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers as an unrestricted free agent this summer to sign with the dysfunctional New York Knicks.

 

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Trevor Ariza or Ron Artest?
Wednesday , Mar , 24 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Trevor Ariza or Ron Artest?

The Quick Hit: The powers that be within the Los Angeles Lakers should ask themselves this question: Why did they spend last summer ‘fixing’ what wasn’t broken?

Last July, after winning the NBA Title, the purple-and-gold decided not to re-sign blue-collar Trevor Ariza and instead inked Ron Artest to a multi-year deal for mid level exception money.

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Sunday , Mar , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Alvin Gentry: Kobe Is Best Closer Ever

"He's the best closer in the history of the game if you ask me," Gentry said. "Yeah, that is including Michael Jordan. I just think what he's done this year, to have six game-winning shots that come on the last possession of the game, I don't know if anybody has ever done that.

"If that's the case, we have to try to make somebody else be that closer. That's not to say that he'll give it up. I've seen him make it over three guys, too. But as far as we're concerned, we have to try to get the ball out of his hands some kind of way."

Gentry noted that Bryant was on the floor at 4:45 p.m. putting up shots - and it turned out he actually had gotten out there about a half-hour earlier.

"I tell our guys, 'You want to be great?' That's how you become great," Gentry said. 

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Friday , Mar , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe’s Father Applies for Hawaii Coaching Job

Another notable candidate has emerged for the Rainbow Warrior basketball head coaching vacancy.
 
Joe "Jellybean" Bryant told KHON2 today that he plans on submitting his application tomorrow.

Bryant is a former professional hoopster who played in the NBA as well as overseas.

He’s also the father of current NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

"Jellybean's" coaching career took him all over....from an assistant at his alma mater, Lasalle University to head coach of the WNBA’s L.A. sparks. 

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