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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.

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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. 

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Sunday , Sep , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe’s First Tweet: ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’

His account even offered up an inaugural Tweet: "Can you hear me now?!?!" A pretty weak inaugural Tweet. The account was shut down after that, but it is expected to resume communication at some time in the future. Whether Bryant can bring enough individual effort and personality to Twitter remains to be seen.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Years ago, Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, tried to rap.

You probably remember it. He was featured on a couple of tracks. He may have even put out an album. It was clear, however, that Bryant shouldn’t quit his day gig as an All-World two-guard.

And he didn’t. Thankfully.

Recently, Bryant dropped his first-ever tweet on the micro-blogging platform known as twitter. ‘Can you hear me know?’ was met with very mixed reviews, and Bryant’s people quickly pulled his twitter account.

Bryant will tweet again. Probably soon. Hopefully, his next effort is a little more inspiring.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Sep , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derek Fisher:‘We’re no Closer to having a Season’

When it comes to trying to figure out where NBA owners and players are in negotiations for a new deal, the one-time Knick and current players union VP Roger Mason Jr. apparently is no Perry Mason.  Mason’s contention that there will be an NBA season was challenged Thursday by Derek Fisher, president of the NBA Players Association, after owners and players met for close to six hours for a second straight day in Manhattan. “Roger’s a very valuable member of our committee,” Fisher said. “I think he’s well-aware that we’re no closer to having a season today than we were at any other point. I think he’s clear on where we are now.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One step forward. Two steps back. Or is that what they want us to think?

Hopefully, the President of the Player’s Union Derek Fisher is simply trying to manage expectations when he says the players and owners aren’t close to deal -even though they met for consecutive days last week.

After all, downplaying Wednesday and Thursday’s small group sessions removes the pressure when the players and owners meet with their full staffs early next week.

Perhaps they can then make progress, find common ground, and start the process of saving the season. The alternative, no basketball for an indefinite amount of time, isn’t pretty.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest Guarantees Lakers will win NBA Title in 2012

"Win it all," Artest said when asked will the Lakers do in the 2011-12 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His new name is coming. His confidence hasn't gone anywhere.

Nobody knows if Ron Artest will actually change his name to Metta World Peace, however, the speculation surrounding his moniker hasn’t impacted the swing’s confidence.

Artest/Peace is so sure his Los Angeles Lakers will win the 2012 NBA Title that he pulled a Joe Naismith and publicly guaranteed it.

There are a few issues. First, there might not be a 2012 season due to the labour impasse between owners and players. Second, if a 2012 season occurs, it will be with a stricter collective bargaining agreement that may force the Lakers to shed talent. And third, the club has a new coach in Mike Brown, which means a transition will occur.

All in all, the Lakers will be hard pressed to win their third championship in four seasons. Just don't tell Artest that.

--Oly Sandor.

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Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!
Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!

Book it. It’s over. There is no need for the 2012 season even if the lockout ended right now. "Win it all," Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee.” Wow. Interesting. And here we go again. Why must you do this? And why must some of Laker Nation have to front run so much? Why? Dallas Mavericks dominating the Lakers was not enough? You were not entertained?

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Thursday , Sep , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Pau Gasol: Lakers and I have Nothing to Prove

"I do not think there's anything to prove on my side," Gasol said via email when asked if he was eager to put the Lakers' postseason behind him. "Last season we didn't perform during the playoffs as we were supposed to. . . . You cannot win every year; there are a lot of very good teams in the league."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, ‘thou protest too much’.

Gasol is in denial if he thinks he and the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have something to prove after losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semi-Finals last May.

He, and his team, have everything to prove.

Gasol had an up-and-down regular season, but belongs on a milk carton after disappearing in the playoffs against the Mavericks.

His play was so poor former coach Phil Jackson, in a fit of un-Zen-like behaviour, shoved him. Their exchange was played over-and-over again on you tube as the Mavs’ swept the Lakers. 

Then Laker-nation piled on. Snoop Dogg, the West Coast rapper, attacked via twitter. Gossip rags speculated that teammate Shannon Brown was to blame for his split with a longtime girlfriend.

(For the record, Brown, who is married to the singer Monica, denied the rumor.)

There was a school of thought that Gasol would be dealt, and the Lakers supposedly tested the market for their finesse-four at the end of June after the NBA Finals.

So Gasol, like it or not, must prove he’s still a premier player. He has company, though.

The Lakers are expected to win the championship every year, which is why their ownership consistently exceeds the luxury tax. Except after winning back-to-back Larry O’Brien trophies in 2009 and 2010, the purple-and-gold got embarrassed by Team Cuban.

The Lakers were out-hustled and out-worked; they looked like complacent Hollywood stars and not the team that captured consecutive championships.

Bottom line: Gasol and the Lakers have everything to prove.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Jennings: Kobe Not L.A. enough?

If Bryant decides to play in the Drew League this summer, Jennings would want to see some documentation. "He wasn't born and raised in L.A," Jennings told ESPN the Magazine`s Chris Palmer. "You gotta be from L.A. for Drew. Show me a birth certificate."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps taking his cue from Donald Trump and President Obama, Brandon Jennings wants to see Kobe Bryant’s birth certificate to establish if the superstar can represent the Los Angeles based Drew League.

Locked out NBA players have taken to suiting up for two street ball organizations: the Goodman League and the Drew League.

Jennings believes you must be born or raised in Los Angeles to play for the west-coast based Drew League. Bryant wasn’t born or raised in Los Angeles, which according to the Milwaukee Bucks’ table-setter makes him ineligible.

To be fair, Bryant has always considered himself a Los Angeles native since getting drafted by the Lakers in the mid-nineties. Other cities, especially Philadelphia, gave him grief for such allegiances.

So Jennings, a resident of Compton, should perhaps cut the five-time world champion a little slack and let him play for the Drew.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ron Artest on Dancing With The Stars?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest will put on his dancing shoes on the newest season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”.  My source close to Ron Ron has confirmed that Artest is one of the participants on the 13th season of DWTS.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwyane who?

Yesterday the world wide web was buzzing with reports Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade will appear on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.

Today the reports are different. Wade is apparently out, while Ron Artest, the Los Angeles Lakers’ larger-than-life swing, is in.

Wade, a smooth and graceful scorer, seems more suited for success on the dance floor, however, Artest could charm with his personality.

Hopefully, neither appears and have to get back to their day-jobs because owners and players settle on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Sadly, Wade and Artest are more likely to dance with a partner on television than to dance around an opponent in an NBA arena. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New CBA to help Orlando keep Howard?

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer says. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They have hope.

The speculation has been that Dwight Howard will opt-out of his contract next summer and walk on the Orlando Magic, sending the South Florida franchise back to the stone age.

Some expect Howard to join the Los Angeles Lakers, even though the purple-and-gold has post Andrew Bynum. Others expect Howard to partner with a top table-setter like the New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams.

Either way, Howard was thought to be gone. And Magic GM Otis Smith was getting ready to reserve his seat at the NBA’s annual draft lottery in the spring of 2013.

Until now.

Apparently, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will help teams retain their own stars by increasing the amount they can pay, and essentially outbid opponents for, their own free agents

Other clauses will make it difficult for stars to join forces. Salaries will be reduced; there could be a hard cap without a luxury tax or exemptions; there may even be revenue sharing. (Call it ‘The Miami Clause’.)

Expect the post lockout NBA to resemble the NFL. There will be greater parity. There will be greater balance. There will be less have-not franchises.

All of which should help Orlando keep Howard. This, it seems, is the best they can hope for. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Barkley: Kobe Shouldn’t Risk Playing Overseas

“No I don’t think Kobe Bryant is going to Turkey. Kobe Bryant, I want to get my numbers right, but I think he has three years and 83 million dollars, so could you imagine him going to Turkey or China for a couple of million dollars and blowing an Achilles or knee out? When you have 83 million dollars coming in the next three years, first of all you should already be financially set, but that’s too much to risk. You can’t risk that money playing overseas.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Kobe Bryant play in China during the NBA lockout? Or, will he stay state-side?

Everyone has an opinion, including Hall of Fame power forward and TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley, who believes Bryant has 83 million reasons to avoid China and remain in America.

Barkley believes The Black Mamba would be silly to risk injury playing in a foreign league and potentially compromise the remaining three years and $83 million on his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

After all, in China he’d reportedly pull in between $1-2 per month, however, there’s the possibility of tearing an Achilles or blowing out a knee.

Even with insurance such an injury would complicate the term and money on his lucrative pact with the purple-and-gold.

So perhaps Bryant rests until the lockout is settled -whenever that is.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe and Laker players help victims of Jim Buss’ purge

Kobe Bryant insisted on giving some of the team's playoff bonus to two members of the Lakers' video department whose contracts were not renewed after the season. Chris Bodaken and Patrick O'Keefe split about $65,000 of the Lakers' playoff bonus.

Bodaken started with the Lakers as a ball boy in 1986 and spent the last 10 seasons as their director of video services. O'Keefe was the Lakers' video coordinator for six seasons.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The owner’s son can learn from the superstar.

Kobe Bryant led teammates in donating part of of their playoff bonus to two Laker employees who had been let go by Jim Buss because of the lockout.

The Lakers are highly profitable, and have made the Buss clan a fortune. They didn’t need to pink-slip anybody when it became clear owners and players wouldn’t agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But Jim Buss saw an opportunity, laying off 20 employees, many of whom he perceived as loyal to former Coach Phil Jackson. So he’s using the current labour strife to settle a personal beef with The Zen-Master.

At least, the players showed class. Once again, Laker-nation should be troubled and disturbed by Jim Buss.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Aug , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Kobe’s (alleged) Cell Phone Rage Understandable?

A man is claiming he was injured at a local church in an incident involving NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Sources told 10News Bryant was attending a church service at St. Therese of Carmel in Carmel Valley Sunday and thought someone was taking pictures of him with a cellphone.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You’re with the family at Church. Or anywhere for that matter. Starbucks. The beach. The mall. Chuck-E-Cheese. Whatever.

All you hear is one sound: click. Again and again. There’s no escaping it.

Part of being wealthy and/or famous is dealing with annoyances. But constant cell phone pictures would get old awfully fast, so it’s hardly surprising a star - in this case, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers - (allegedly) snapped.

(Bryant reportedly took a man’s phone because he thought he was taking his picture at Church. The Laker great returned the phone after realizing there were no pictures, but the man is claiming Bryant injured his wrist.)

Generally, I have little sympathy for those who earn millions to play a sport. They get paid well, and must put up with certain inconveniences.

That’s the game. Them the breaks.

Cell phone pictures are different. Every cell phone has a camera, which means the general public can, and do, act like the paparazzi. They see a star. They take his or her picture.

This is a natural reaction. However, it would be unnerving and frightening for the person being photographed. There would be no escape and no privacy. Ever.

Steve Nash, a man who is as comfortable and natural in the spotlight as any athlete or movie star, has called cell phone pictures a violation.

And Bryant had issues with two fans baiting him with loaded questions, filming/recording his answers on a cell phone, and then attempting to blackmail him and the organization.

It’s not a surprise an incident occurred. In fact, it’s a surprise something hadn`t happened sooner.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andrew Bynum on Dwight Howard trade rumors: ‘I like L.A.’

Q: How have you endured speculation you'll be traded, or replaced next year by free agent Dwight Howard?

A: It's good to know everybody wants me; that means I'll be in this game for some time. I like L.A., and don't want to go anywhere else. It'd be good to stay in one place your whole career, and the Lakers are the most storied franchise in the league, everyone knows who the Lakers are, and I appreciate the Lakers' love.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, he likes Los Angeles and wants to stay.

Andrew Bynum finally responded to rumours he’ll be traded to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard by stating he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Why wouldn’t he want to stay?

The Lakers are the NBA’s ultimate have-franchise. Their market-size, wealthy owner, and desirable location means they’ll compete year-in, year-out.

Translation: in Los Angeles, Bynum contends, has a terrific supporting cast, gets invited to famous parties, and is linked to desirable singers.

(To be fair, Orlando is also a have-franchise. Like the NBA’s 29 other franchises, it can’t compete with the lure, hype, and glamour of Los Angeles.)

Bynum knows this. He’s also knows the reason he’ll likely stay in Los Angeles long-term is because of the internal politics of Laker-nation.

Bynum is Jim Buss’ guy. Jim Buss, the owner’s son and head of the Lakers, claims to have drafted and groomed Bynum.

And Jim Buss’ has hedged what little reputation he has as a basketball executive to Bynum’s success on-court. So Bynum will be given every opportunity with the Lakers.

For instance, Jim Buss forced coach Phil Jackson to leave, despite the Zen’s stellar record, and hired the defensive-minded Mike Brown.

Brown immediately promoted Bynum to co-superstar status, putting him - right or wrong, fair or not - on equal footing with Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant.

Bottom line: Bynum’s protected with the Lakers. How can the Magic possibly compete?

--Oly Sandor.

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