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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.
 
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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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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.

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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 

The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria
Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 J.N.

The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria

We went through the NBA MVP Criteria and the GOAT player criteria. Those were easy to do, but this is the toughest to sift through. What are the greatest teams ever assembled besides the 1992 Olympic Dream Team? Where do we start? I am pretty sure that this has been done before by other writers and analysts, but I will keep it simple without the discussion devolving in to “playing era” talk. Punching numbers in to a system to calculate outcomes between great teams do not work. And basketball videogames are not the answer either.

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Eliminating Dynasties
Monday , Oct , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Eliminating Dynasties

Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA title dispatching the best the league has to offer is a great thing. In the same way that Tim Duncan’s Spurs and Hakeem’s Rockets won, a new team winning the title refreshes the competition instead of regulating to the same franchises consisting around the Lakers and Celtics. The matchup gets stale unless you are a Lakers or Celtic fan. The faces are different, but the same teams remain. Green is green. Yellow is yellow. It’s like watching a bad film going through several remakes. You just have to wonder why. 

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Friday , Sep , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe slams Shaq for not practicing

Kobe is out on a Nike-fueled tour of Italy right now and in a radio interview he was asked what was his issue with Shaq: “I like players who work out. I used to do that 6-7 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them”.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was a shot at on old foe.

Today Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant called out players who don’t practice. Translation: he’s talking about Shaquille O’Neal, also known as The Big Broadcaster.

Of course, Bryant and O’Neal have history.

They were teammates and rivals with the Lakers. Then they parted and were just rivals, slamming each other in the press and at open mic’ night.

Currently, there’s a détente between the two, which results in not-so subtle digs flying back and forth every few months.

Whatever the case, it's nice to see O'Neal, now a retired TNT broadcaster, getting a taste of his own medicine.

In July, he called out Chris Bosh, Recently, he bragged about warning Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge not to trade Kendrick Perkins.

And he made a career of jabbing, poking, and swiping his peers. For once, the shoe is on the other foot.

--O. Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe contemplating $7 million offer from Virtus Bologna?

Kobe Bryant has been offered $6.7 million to play basketball for an Italian team, appealing to his childhood memories of growing up the country. Virtus Bologna general manager Massimo Faraoni tells The Associated Press he's been on conference calls between Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, Bologna president Claudio Sabatini and main sponsor Canadian Solar, which would provide the cash for such a deal.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant will pass.

There have been rumblings the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is contemplating a one-year, $7 million dollar offer to suit up for Virtus Bologna in Italy.

Returning to his childhood home of Italy would be nice. And he’d love to spread his brand across international waters into Europe.

But Bryant has greater fish to fry -like getting revenge on the Dallas Mavericks for last year’s playoff defeat and winning a Michael Jordan-esque sixth championship.

Bryant, who is hitting the twilight of his career, won’t risk a championship for a jaunt throughout Europe.

--O. Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Sep , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant to loan players money during lockout?

"They've been deeply involved in the meetings we've had. I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Bank of Kobe Bryant could be coming.

Union head Billy Hunter told the press superstar Kobe Bryant is willing to lend his union brothers money during the work stoppage.

This is a nice gesture by Bryant, but shows the need for NBA players to learn how to manage their money.

Take Eddy Curry. The puffy post turned one good season on a bad Knicks team into an exorbitant 5-year, $55 million contract.

In the last three years, Curry suited up for 33 games. While injured, he accumulated debt, overhead, and high-interest loans like a European ‘P.I.G.S.’ nation.

Now Curry, who will receive a massive pay-cut as a free agent when the season does begin, must honour those financial obligations.

I have a feeling Curry’s situation is not unique. Many, if not most, NBA players are stretched, so the owners only have to outwait the players.

Hunter should be more careful about releasing information to the public, even if it involves The Bank of Kobe Bryant.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Sep , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video:Ron Artest cut from Dancing With The Stars

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: ‘Peace’ was not enough.

Ron Artest, also known as ‘Metta World Peace’, was the first celebrity participant cut by the popular reality television show Dancing With The Stars.

The judges gave him the lowest score of all participants at 14/30, which led to fans voting him off ABC’s juggernaut.

Hopefully, Artest has an epiphany and remembers he’s a basketball player first and celebrity second. Too often, it has been the other way around.

Anyway, watch the video of Ron-Ron on DWTS, gather thoughts, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe to Virtus Bologna a Union bluff?

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a youth basketball clinic in Singapore that he didn't know if there will be a 2011-12 season and hasn't ruled out playing abroad. "I could," Bryant said Saturday. "I'm playing abroad right now."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he stay state-side or go abroad?

This was the dilemma facing Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who could earn millions of dollars per month playing outside the NBA.

However, the rumours, speculation, and gossip teetered off once the Chinese leagues restricted the escape clauses and talks heated up between the players and owners on a new collective bargaining agreement.

  Currently, the two sides are nowhere near a deal, which means Bryant is again considering his options abroad.

Perhaps he’ll tour Asia. Perhaps he’ll link up with a top squad in Europe. Currently, the owner of a prominent Italian club side is exploring ways to sign Bryant and pay the insurance on his NBA pact.

Or perhaps it’s a massive bluff. Bryant could be trying to pressure the owners, who hold all the cards and leverage in this lockout, by talking about suiting up in another league.

If so, it’s a Hail Mary. It may be the union’s best shot of getting some owners to move off their hard-line stance.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Sep , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lamar and Khloe to Europe?

it’s ya boy @RealLamarOdom !" Odom tweeted to Gasol. "My dude really want 2 talk 2 u! Really thinking about going 2 play in Europe after this season!"

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who knows Lamar Odom’s real motivation?

The two-time world champion, superstar sixth-man, and reality TV King is thinking of plying his trade in Europe if the lockout cancels part or all of the NBA season.

So Odom tweeted his L.A. Lakers’ teammate Pau Gasol to ask his advice. No phone call. No e-mail. No text. No Skype. No face-book message.

Such information and manoeuvring is intentional and deliberate when your part of the multi-million dollar brand known as the Kardashians. 

Odom wanted you, me, and the public to know about him possibly going to Europe.

And this represents a larger issue for the Lakers, who lost in the second round of the playoffs to the world champion Dallas Mavericks.

They’re trying to get back atop the NBA, while Odom seems pre-occupied with his show and selling stuff.

Something has to give. It may end with the Lakers trading their versatile forward or not picking up the last year of his contract in 2013.

--Oly Sandor. 

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