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Saturday , Dec , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Kobe cheat … again?

Sources connected with the couple tell TMZ ... Vanessa -- who stuck by Kobe after he was charged with sexually assaulting a Colorado woman in 2003 -- decided to end the marriage because she believes Kobe has been unfaithful ... again.

As one source puts it, "She's been dealing with these incidents for a long time and has been a faithful wife, but she's finally had enough," adding, "This one is the straw that broke the camel's back." And our sources say ... Kobe "desperately" wants to win Vanessa back and will do "whatever it takes" to save their 10 1/2 year marriage.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: She stood by him during his sexual assault case. And she stood by him through rumors of affairs and infidelity.

Not now, though.

Vanessa Bryant, the wife of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

Kids, that’s code for infidelity. And various sources are reporting that Vanessa felt Bryant had again been unfaithful.

Apparently, the two sides have worked out all or most details of the divorce, and Vanessa is entitled to half of Bryant’s $350 million because there is no prenuptial agreement.

Bryant’s focus has helped him play through past distractions, however, his divorce is one more distraction for a Lakers side in transition.

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

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Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers again chasing Chris Paul?

The Lakers are making another run at Chris Paul, who remains in limbo as the NBA league office has taken over negotiations on behalf of the Hornets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, it’s not over.

For months the Spanish post has been plagued by rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to trade him.

He had been linked to Kevin Love in Minnesota, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and twice nearly found a home in Houston as part of a three-team blockbuster for Chris Paul of New Orleans.

Of course, Commissioner Stern and the NBA, who own the Hornets, nixed both previous offers from the Lakers, citing the ever-mysterious ‘basketball reasons’.

Now the Lakers are apparently taking a third run at Paul, and Gasol is again the centerpiece of the purple-and-gold’s offer.

So the rumors will continue. And Gasol could still end up out of town.
 
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Tuesday , Dec , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Clippers miss memo: claim Billups off waivers

The Clippers have made a successful big on Chauncey Billups, who was amnestied by the Knicks last week. Under terms of the league’s amnesty police, any team under the salary cap can put bid on Billups. The Clippers put a bid of just over $2 million for Billups, according to Marc Stein.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps the Los Angeles Clippers missed the memo.

Veteran point guard Chauncey Billups warned teams not to claim him after he was amnesty waived by the New York Knicks.

Teams under the salary cap had first crack at claiming Billups, who wanted to go unclaimed so he could become a free agent and sign with a contender.

Mr. Big shot had his eyes on competitive squads like the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

So Billups joining the Clippers is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, Los Angeles’ other team is big on potential but light on results.

Second, there are rumors the Clippers will send several pieces to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Chris Paul. This would relegate to Billups to the bench on a team that would be good but hardly great.

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

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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe on Lamar Odom trade: ‘I don’t like it’

One of his closest friends on the Lakers, Lamar Odom, was traded Saturday night to Dallas for a first-round pick in the 2012 amateur draft, depriving the Lakers of their top rebounder and a solid character guy in the locker room. "I don't like it," Bryant said Sunday. "I've known Lamar for a long time, and for the team itself, he's meant a lot in terms of his versatility, his personality. He's a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He's great at bringing guys together and things of that nature.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The straw that stirs the purple-and-gold's drink has spoken. And he isn’t happy.

Kobe Bryant, arguably the game’s best player and franchise face for the Los Angeles Lakers, is unhappy that forward Lamar Odom was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks in a salary clearing move.

Bryant was unhappy for a few reasons:

First, Odom was a key guy in the locker room, bringing different people and factions together into a cohesive whole.

Second, Odom, a former Sixth Man of the Year, had his best season as a Laker in 2011, despite being supposedly distracted by his reality TV duties as Mr. Khloe Kardashian.

Third, Odom went to the Dallas Mavericks, the 2011 world champions and arch rival of the Lakers.

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

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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to chase Dwight Howard, not Chris Paul

The Lakers have pulled out of Chris Paul trade talks and will trade Lamar Odom to the Mavericks for a traded player exception that was acquired for Tyson Chandler.Dallas will send unspecified draft considerations to the Lakers. "The Lakers are shifting toward trying to make a Dwight Howard deal."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We have closure on this saga. For now.

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially pulled out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes, and will instead focus on acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

Perhaps the cost was too high. Perhaps dealing with NBA head office, who own the New Orleans Hornets, was too complicated. Or, perhaps they just prefer Howard.

Bottom line: the purple-and-gold have declared their intention to pursue Howard. And they usually get they want.

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

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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Marcus Banks, Jason Smith, draft picks in new Chris Paul trade

The Hornets, Lakers and Rockets have delivered a restructured Chris Paul to the NBA for their approval, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Earlier today HoopsVibe News reported that the Lakers, Hornets, and Rockets had submitted a new trade proposal involving Chris Paul.

(The first trade was nixed by the NBA, who owns the struggling New Orleans franchise, because they felt the Hornets weren’t getting enough young talent, while the Lakers were gaining too much financial flexibility.)

In the second trade, the Hornets will receive a couple of first round picks and the Lakers have to take back Marcus Banks and Jason Smith in separate sign-and-trades.

The ball is now in Commissioner Stern’s court.

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

 

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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers, Hornets, Rockets submit new Chris Paul trade to NBA

Just filed to ESPN w/@Chris_Broussard: New trade framework of original three-team CP3 deal has been submitted to league office for approval.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

ESPN is reporting that the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans Hornets are submitting a re-worked trade proposal that would involve superstar point guard Chris Paul.

The first trade was nixed by the league for ’basketball reasons’ on Thursday evening, sending shockwaves around the NBA. (Remember, the NBA owns the Hornets because a buyer couldn’t be found).

The league apparently wants the Hornets to receive young talent and draft picks. And then there was the optics of a larger market, like the Lakers, continuing to dominate and accumulate superstars.

Stay posted to HoopsVibe News for further details on this story.

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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom frustrated by Chris Paul fiasco

“Maybe I’ll see you there,” Odom said, “but I doubt it. You don’t want to go to no place you’re not wanted. I’ll try to give them what they want as much as possible.”Odom also felt bad for his teammate.

“Imagine how Pau feels,” he said. “Pau came to the Lakers and played here for four years, went to the Finals and lost, won two NBA championships and then got swept [by Dallas]. Wow!

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The trade was shocking -even though Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom’s names had been in trade rumours for years.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers cut ties with Gasol and Odom as part of a three-team deal to get superstar point guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets.

Or, so they thought.

The NBA owns the Hornets and nixed the trade for 'basketball reasons'. The outcry was significant and all sides are still talking about reviving the deal.

This means Gasol, Odom, and Paul are in holding, waiting for the deal to go through again or get cancelled for good.

The shock will wear off. Whatever happens, Gasol, a four-time All-Star, and Odom, a former Sixth Man of the Year, must accept the team they won two championships with no longer wants them.

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

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Friday , Dec , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Dan Gilbert block Chris Paul trade to Lakers?

Dan Gilbert sent an email to David Stern, Adam Silver and several of his fellow owners to urge the NBA to block a proposed trade that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers.The following is the email in its entirety:

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA has blocked the trade sending Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. And Dan Gilbert, the controversial owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, could get the blame.

Gilbert, who lambasted LeBron on the Cavaliers’ website for The Decision and was a notorious hardliner during the lockout, sent a scathing email to Commissioner David Stern criticizing the trade.

The league, of course, is the temporary owner of the New Orleans Hornets, Paul’s current team. And Gilbert felt Paul ending up with the Lakers would be a 'travesty'.

I can see this from both sides. On the one hand, Paul is a free agent in July. He can sign where he likes, and he will, no doubt, sign with a major market such as Los Angeles or New York.

So the Hornets should cut the best deal possible. And many analysts felt that’s what they did on Thursday.

On the other hand, the NBA just locked-out the players for five months, in part, because of the discrepancy between have and have-not markets.

And the day they ratify the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the team the league owns trades the sport’s best point guard to its glamour franchise.

The optics weren't good. Then again, neither is the optics of nixing a trade.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Saturday , Dec , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum ‘indifferent’ about possible Howard deal?

The source classified Bynum as “indifferent” to all the trade talk and willing to play wherever. This is the third time he’s been rumored to be the centerpiece of a package for an All-Star, previously being involved in discussions for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Andrew Bynum has been through this before.

Remember the Los Angeles Lakers nearly dealt a teenage Bynum to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd. The speculation was ramped, with Laker great Kobe Bryant commenting on the trade rumors in a bizarre cell-phone video.

There had also been chatter of Bynum being dangled as bait for Kevin Garnett when The Big Ticket was looking to escape the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So it’s no surprise that Bynum isn’t bothered by the chatter of being sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for All-Star Dwight Howard.

In Orlando, he’d be the undisputed first option. There’d be no more playing in the shadow of Kobe Bryant.

However, there’s a strong chance the Lakers keep Bynum. He was, after all, the choice of Jim Buss, the new lead executive of the purple-and-gold and, most importantly, the owner’s son.

The younger Buss uses Bynum’s success to justify his position in the front office. Don’t think this doesn’t matter in the political world of the purple-and-gold.

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

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Sunday , Nov , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers want Baron Davis and Rashard Lewis?

The Lakers are curious to see if veteran point guard Baron Davis gets cut by Cleveland. He has two years and $28.7 million left on his contract, though he can be signed for substantially less than that. The Lakers also want a shooter and are monitoring whether forward Rashard Lewis (two years, $43.8 million remaining) gets waived by Washington.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s official name was the ‘amnesty clause’. It’s unofficial name was ‘team screwed up, overpaid said player, and now gets out of jail/contract free’.

Well, nothing is completely free.

As part of the 2004-05 CBA negotiations, teams could waive one player and his salary did not count against the cap. The team had to cover the contract, but increased financial flexibility and/or saved on luxury tax payments.

Remember, the Dallas Mavericks cut ties with Michael Finley‘s mammoth big-ticket, but the swing joined the rival San Antonio Spurs and won a championship.

So things can backfire.

Word is the new CBA has an amnesty clause. The Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing a couple of veterans, Baron Davis and Rashard Lewis, who are on the chopping block.

Davis is owed $30 million through 2014, which may be too much for the rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers, especially with youngster Kyrie Irving in the fold.

Now Davis’ drive-and-kick style might suit Mike Brown’s system, however, the portly point guard was distracted during his time in Los Angeles with the Clippers.

Lewis is far more interesting. The Wizards are also starting over and have little interest in doling out more than $40 million over the next two seasons.

It’s quite possible the stretch-four gets waived and signs with a contender like the Lakers for the Mid Level Exception or a bargain salary.

All Lewis would have to do with the purple-and-gold is spot up, catch, and shoot. The burden of fulfilling a ridiculous contract would be gone.

So the Lakers could re-tool on the fly. And it may just happen because of the new CBA.

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

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Monday , Nov , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Beckham wins MLS Title, really wants NBA lockout to end

“As a fan, its’ killing me because I love the game and I love watching these athletes, I think they’re such great athletes. It’s killing me because I love the spectacle of going to the Lakers and watching the guys play.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has everything. Money. Pop star wife. A family. Multiple mansions. Celebrity endorsements. International fame. Over one hundred caps for his country. English Premiership glory. UEFA Championships. And most recently, an MLS Title.

Well, he doesn’t have everything. David Beckham doesn’t have the NBA.

Like you and me, Beckham desperately wants an end to the five month old lockout. The rock star of ‘The Beautiful Game’ is a die-hard hoops fan who wears #23 to honour his idol Michael Jordan.     

Beckham often sits courtside with the other A-list celebs’ at Los Angeles Lakers games. So the impasse between players and owners is frustrating -even for a man who appears to have everything.

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

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Wednesday , Nov , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Kobe is a more ‘scientific dawg’ than LeBron and D-Wade

So where do these two guys measure up against Kobe? Kobe is a scientific dawg. He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs. Me, I’m a freak-of-nature dawg because of my size. LeBron could be a scientific dawg like Kobe, but he’s got a lot going on like I did, so that’s preventing him from being one.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal thinks Kobe Bryant is a ‘scientific dawg’, which apparently makes him better in the clutch than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

For the record, I don’t know what a ‘scientific dawg’ is. I do think Shaq is saying Bryant is a superior fourth quarter player because of his focus and commitment to his craft.

Perhaps.

At this stage in their careers, James and Wade are better athletes - and maybe better players - than Bryant. But Bryant always possessed an intangible that more often than not propelled him to greatness when it mattered most.

This was evident from his early days sitting on the Lakers' bench as a 17-year old rookie under Coach Del Harris.

He is indeed the closest thing to Michael Jordan that the NBA has ever had. Shaq, his former nemesis, has to show respect by dubbing him a scientific dawg’.

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

 

 

 

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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Pat Riley and I nearly fought in Miami

I start taking a couple of steps towards Pat. Udonis Haslem steps in and I shove him out of the way. Then Zo tries to grab me. I threw him aside like he was a rag doll.Now it's me and Riley face-to-face, jaw to jaw. I'm poking him in the chest and he keeps slapping my finger away and it's getting nasty. Noisy, too. He's yelling "F--- you!" and I'm yelling back, "No, f--- you!" Zo is trying to calm us both down and he has this kind of singsong panic in his voice. He keeps saying, "Big fella, no big fella, big fella!" I finally turn around and tell him, "Don't worry. I'm not going to hit the man. Do you think I'm crazy?"

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal’s tell-all tour continues. No player, coach, man, or woman will be spared.

The future Hall of Fame center has a spill-the-beans book coming out, so he and his people have leaked excerpts to create a buzz.

Like O’Neal’s World Wars with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Like O`Neal`s take on LeBron James ignoring Coach Mike Brown in Cleveland. Like O`Neal`s lack of a relationship with iconic center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The latest: O’Neal nearly fought Pat Riley, also known as the oil slick, during practice with Miami. Of course, O’Neal says he was heroically sticking up for teammate Jason Williams.

This may or may not be true. There’s no disputing O’Neal has had problems with coaches.

There was the fallout with Riley. There were problems with Phil Jackson, another all-time great on the sideline. And he undermined Terry Porter in Phoenix.

So before blaming others, O’Neal should perhaps look inward first. This, however, is unlikely.

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

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Sunday , Nov , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tyson Chandler: Owners’ offer would force me out of Dallas

"With the collective bargaining agreement and some of the things that they're trying to enforce, it would basically prohibit me from coming back," Chandler told KESN-FM FM in Dallas. "It would take it out of my hands -- and the organization's -- because it would almost be pretty much impossible for me to re-sign. I just think that can be the worst thing that can happen."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tyson Chandler could be a casualty of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The owners’ offer of a low 50% share of Basketball Related Income and a more restrictive system might make it impossible for the Dallas Mavericks to re-sign Chandler, the club’s starting center and a key cog in last year’s success.

Chandler believes it’s unfair the CBA is changing after the Mavericks` championship run, arguing that the Los Angeles Lakers never faced such restrictions.

The timing is unfortunate, but not unfair.

After all, everybody knew there’d be drastic changes after the last CBA expired. And Chandler will still get his money -just not with the Mavericks.

Of course, Chandler could always discount his services and take less if he feels passionately about returning to the Mavericks.

Something, however, tells me this won’t happen.

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

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Tuesday , Nov , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq once warned Kobe: ‘I Will Kill You’

Kobe stands up and goes face-to-face with me and says, “You always said you’re my big brother, you’d do anything for me, and then this Colorado thing happens and you never even called me.” I did call him. … So here we are now, and we find out he really was hurt that we didn’t stand behind him. That was something new. I didn’t think he gave a rat’s ass about us either way. “Well, I thought you’d publicly support me, at least,” Kobe said. “You’re supposed to be my friend.”

Brian Shaw chimed in with “Kobe, why would you think that? Shaq had all these parties and you never showed up for any of them. We invited you to dinner on the road and you didn’t come. Shaq invited you to his wedding and you weren’t there. Then you got married and didn’t invite any of us. And now you are in the middle of this problem, this sensitive situation, and now you want all of us to step up for you. We don’t even know you.” …

Everyone was starting to calm down when I told Kobe, “If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The shocking part is that their World Wars didn’t erupt sooner and destroy the Los Angeles Lakers.

Pundits often debate how many championships Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal could’ve won if they worked together and pushed their egos to the side.

The argument is that Bryant and O’Neal, while capturing three consecutive Larry O’Brien trophies, should‘ve been far more successful.

They should've been Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (six championships). Or, they should've been Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (five championships).

Instead they have just three. I, however, have a different view: it‘s a miracle they won anything.

Sure, they were talented. At the time, O’Neal was as dominating a player to ever suit up in the NBA, while Bryant was coming into his own as a superstar. 

The excerpts from O’Neal’s upcoming book show just how dysfunctional those Lakers were, especially the highly toxic dynamic between Shaq and Kobe.

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

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Saturday , Oct , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat owner Micky Arison blames other owners for lockout

A random NBA fan wrote on Twitter a message directed at Heat owner Micky Arison. "Fans provide all the money you're fighting over," wrote the fan."Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner," replied Arison on his Twitter feed. Arison has been categorized by NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter as part of a group of owners eager to reach a deal with the players.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The players union may be splitting, but so are the owners.

Case in point: Micky Arison, the owner of the star-studded Miami Heat, who tweeted his frustration over the two sides not finding common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement.    

Arison wants to settle on a new CBA, so his Big Three can win a championship and he can maximize his investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
 
Clearly, Arison isn’t alone in wanting to settle. Other big-market, ‘have’ owners are comfortable in winning these negotiations with players and do not wish to extract blood.

Unfortunately, the Bulls, Celtics, Heat, Lakers, and Knicks are in the minority. The Blazers, Bobcats, Bucks, Suns, and eighteen other owners are determined to have total victory.

And so we continue to wait for basketball.

--Sandor.

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

The NBA lockout is over….
Friday , Oct , 28 , 2011 J.N.

The NBA lockout is over….

If you want it to be. As you may have heard, the owners dropped the 50/50 Basketball Related Income precondition to keep the talks going. People are running their mouths over Twitter claiming that the NBA lockout is supposedly nearing its’ end. We will see. Are you sure? I have accepted that the 2011-2012 season is canceled a long time ago. After what Dwyane Wade said about teams not needing to be competitive and Kevin Garnett’s negotiation room antics, the diehard fans revolted against the players. Fans are calling players stupid, but they need to calm down. We want our NBA game back as much as President Barack Obama, but the inside sources got us blue balled. The NBA lockout is ending, eh?

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Sunday , Oct , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Kobe’s better than LeBron

“Everybody’s always asking, ‘Who is better between Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron?’” Johnson said. “I’m like, Are you kidding me? I’m like you’re kidding me … Kobe, five championships; LeBron, zero. I love the young man though. I know he’s going to get better in the fourth quarter this year.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He speaks the truth.

Magic Johnson isn’t hating on LeBron James by saying that the Miami Heat three-man can’t compare with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

Magic’s reasoning is fair: Bryant has five championships, while James has none.

After all, championships have long been the mark of greatness in the NBA. Superstars, the real elites, measure themselves by the number of times they hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June and not individual statistics.

Johnson was simply holding James accountable to this criteria. To be fair, James is currently superior to Bryant, but has yet to enjoy true post-season success.

Until James does, he’s not in the same company as Bryant.

O.Sandor

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Tuesday , Oct , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Durant drops 50 in Goodman League

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kevin Durant scored 50 points last weekend in Los Angeles.

Sadly, such a performance didn't help his Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Los Angeles Lakers because the NBA is locked-out. Instead it came in an exhibition match for the Goodman League.

Watch the video below, remember what are missing because of the lockout, and hope the powers that be find an answer. 

--O.Sandor