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Monday , Mar , 12 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics, Lakers discussed Rondo for Gasol swap?

The Lakers and Boston Celtics hate each other, an animosity that extends into the front offices of the two teams. Not really. The teams talked last week about a trade for Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, though nothing was close to accomplished and discussions dried up.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The rumors don’t die. They multiply.

For months, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been testing the trade market for table-setter Rajon Rondo and post Pau Gasol.

The Celtics and Lakers had little luck finding a deal to their liking, so these great rivals recently discussed a Rondo for Gasol swap.

Yes, Rondo for Gasol. Straight.

(For the record, such cooperation would make former Celtics and Lakers like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy puke.)

The Celtics shouldn’t make this move -unless the tales of Rondo’s diva behaviour are true. The Kentucky alum’ is young, productive, and, can dominate without taking a single shot. Most importantly, he covers up for an aging Big Three.

Gasol has a world class skill-set. However, the green-and-white would be wise to keep Rondo.

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

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Monday , Mar , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: Wade and LeBron aren’t worthy rivals

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has always been lauded for his self-motivation and drive to be the best. It's a good thing he has that internal ambition, because according to Bryant, he's gone through his 16-year career without a true rival on the exterior to push him to succeed. "I didn't have one," Bryant said after scoring 38 points in the Lakers' 115-107 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, Kobe Bryant, tell us how you feel?

Bryant has every right to say he measures himself against Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, and not LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Bryant, like Jordan and Johnson, won many championships, while James and Wade combined have one championship.

And Bryant played seven seasons in the NBA before James and Wade were drafted as part of the highly touted 2003 class.

This wasn’t about hoisting the Larry O’Brien championship trophy, though. This was about an edge -as Bryant’s Lakers faced James and Wade’s Heat in a much-hyped nationally televised game.

Fans were especially curious to see how Bryant would respond to Wade’s hard foul during the 2012 All-Star game in Orlando.

Bryant, in typical Black Mamba fashion, took no offense to the foul, which broke his nose and gave him a concussion. He simply proved his point by leading the Lakers to a 93-83 win over the Heat.

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

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Saturday , Mar , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Hakeem Olajuwon: LeBron can get even better

"I knew he recorded everything we worked on," Olajuwon said. "I know he's practiced it. I can see that. But the comfort level, when you get into the competition, you start playing to your strengths, which is more of (an) outside (game). I see him post up. But I still see a lot of opportunities there. He's not capitalizing as much as he should. He needs more of a refresher course where he can become more comfortable. I see him (improving his post game), but he needs more time."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The best always get better. That's why they are the best.

After all, Michael Jordan developed an amazing post game; Magic Johnson added his ‘baby hook’ and three-point shot; Kobe Bryant has extended his range over the years.

So, there’s no doubt LeBron James, who will surely win his third MVP award this spring, can get better. According to his tutor Olajuwon, it starts in the post, where the 6-8 man-child has only scratched the surface.

James’ can also take his one-on-one defense, outside range, and conditioning to another level. When he does fans will be watching an all-time great.

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

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Tuesday , Feb , 28 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: I should have taken Last Shot in All-Star Game

LeBron on final seconds of All-Star game: "(Kobe) was telling me to shoot it. I seen my teammate open for a split second. I seen him open the first time and I didn't release the ball. When I tried to throw it late, that's what usually happens and it results in a turnover. Definitely wish I could have that one back."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James should forget his last second turnover in Sunday's All-Star game and focus on one thing: helping his Miami Heat win a championship.

After all, the mid-season classic is meaningless; it’s an event for Commissioner Stern, ESPN/ABC, and the league’s sponsors to sell the NBA.

The Heat don’t move up or down in the standings. And there’s no impact on home court advantage. So, why is James taking the blame? Why is he worrying?

Instead of dwelling on the outcome, the game’s greatest player should be arrogant enough to shrug off the result, remind everyone the All-Star game is for fans, and then drop forty in his next regular season game.

Michael Jordan wouldn’t have thought twice about ‘blowing’ the All-Star game. Neither would Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Their confidence - what the kid’s call swagger - was too great.

James is talking about the All-Star game to reporters. It’s becoming a ‘thing’. It’s sticking in his mind. Just like his inability to finish down the stretch.

And the whispers will follow him when the game is close and the Heat have the ball late in the fourth quarter.

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

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Friday , Dec , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Matt Barnes to Blake Griffin and Clippers: act like you’ve dunked before

“It’s a preseason game,’ Barnes said after Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. ‘Yeah, they’re catching lobs and dunking. But it’s just a preseason game. Let’s just play basketball. If you make a dunk, act like you’ve done it before. He’s got hundreds of them. There’s no need for the hoorah after every single dunk. It’s unnecessary.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Los Angeles’ two NBA teams, the Clippers and Lakers, don’t care for each other. Not one bit.

After all, Los Angeles was always a Laker town. They had The Logo, Wilt the Stilt, Kareem, Magic, Big Game James, Shaq-Fu, Kobe Bean, Andrew Bynum, and others.

While the Clippers could never attract or keep top talent because owner Donald Sterling wouldn’t open his wallet or spend the luxury tax payments he received from league head office.

This age-old dynamic is changing. The (natural) order of Los Angeles’ basketball teams could flip flop in 2012.  

The Lakers, who are still talented, are in transition, while the Clippers have Chris Paul at point guard; Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan down low;  and veterans like Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams.

Here’s the biggest shock: the Clippers are the glamour team. Griffin and Jordan’s aerial antics will receive endless love on ESPN, youtube, and twitter.

And some, like the Lakers' Matt Barnes, don't appreciate the post dunks celebrations.

Too bad.

Barnes better realize times have changed. These are the new Clippers.

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

 

 

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Friday , Nov , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Stern and NBA aren’t racists

”In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Johnson said Jeffrey Kessler’s assertions were “ridiculous” while praising Stern as a commissioner who has done plenty to further the success of black players in the league.”This league is more diverse than any other league and has more minoritiesin powerful positions than any other league,” Johnson told AP. “That’s all about David Stern and his vision and what he wanted todo. He make sure minorities had high-ranking positions from the league officeall the way down to coaches and front office people.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA lockout has gotten personal. Target number one: NBA Commissioner David Stern.

It’s not surprising that owners and players have traded barbs, insults, and slights through the media. It is surprising how personal things have become.

For instance, NBA Players Union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler and broadcaster Bryant Gumbel both called Stern and the owners racist, comparing their negotiating tactics to that of a ‘plantation overseer’.

I’m not a visible minority. I don’t live in the United States. I’m the wrong person to comment on this.

However, it’s worth noting that Magic Johnson - an African American, Hall of Fame NBA superstar, and a former minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers - has come to Stern’s defense.

Johnson thinks you can criticize Stern as commissioner, but can’t criticize him as man, citing the NBA’s track record of hiring minorities.

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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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

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

Did Michael Jordan play in a watered down era?
Wednesday , Oct , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Did Michael Jordan play in a watered down era?

Recently, I noticed that fans are questioning if Michael Jordan played in a watered down era. The question has been posed time and time again. I do not understand why it gets brought up in the first place. Seriously? WTF? Dude. Stop it. I bet the question came up as a statement when Jordan was dominating the NBA. I would not be surprised if it came from an old timer during Bill Russell’s era. I am shaking my head at this garbage. Today, the question became a meme. Are you trying to discredit Michael with the question? 

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NBA Players who can reach near Magic Johnson level
Saturday , Aug , 20 , 2011 J.N.

NBA Players who can reach near Magic Johnson level

Magic Johnson was a triple double machine 6-9 point guard. There will not be any one reaching “NEAR” Michael Jordan level anytime soon, but is there anyone who can reach near Magic Johnson? Magic has 138 career triple doubles in the regular season and 30 triple doubles in the playoffs from a career 190 playoff games. His career averages are 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists. Those are ridiculous numbers for anyone to obtain. What players today have the skills to do that?

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Saturday , Aug , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Dream Team better than Redeem Team

"When you think about the Olympics and the Dream Team, I have to throw it to you," Johnson said. "Kobe [Bryant] and them won by 22 points. Ehh, 22 points? We won by an average of 44 points. So when they want to step up to that, you tell them we'll be waiting on them."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Michael, Magic, and Larry or Kobe, LeBron, and D-Wade?

It's a tough question, however, most fans assume the 1992 'Dream Team' that cruised to gold in Barcelona, Spain was the greatest team ever.

Magic Johnson, the point guard for the first American side that allowed professionals to participate in the Olympics, has no problem saying so.

Johnson recently said that the ‘92 squad would handle the 2008 squad, known as 'Redeem Team', that captured gold at the Beijing Olympics in China.

Perhaps.

I don’t buy Johnson’s argument about point differential, though. The former Laker believes the 92 squad’s wide margin of victory solidifies their status as the greatest ever.

However, I do believe the ‘92 squad trumps the ‘08 squad because they handled a terrifically talented and inspired Croatian team in the gold medal game.

--Oly Sandor.

Dream Team or Redeem Team? Well, get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

 

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Monday , Aug , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic Johnson interested in owning Dodgers and NFL team?

‘If the Dodgers ever came up for sale, would I take a look at it with some other people? Of course you would look at it. The brand is so strong. But as we speak today, they do have an owner.’ Johnson’s smile and recollection as a Rams and Raiders season ticket holder when they played in L.A. revealed his outward interest in being part of AEG’s ownership group should an NFL team return to the City of Angels: ‘Yes, because I’m such a big football fan'.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Magic Johnson isn’t standing still during the NBA lockout.

The Hall of Fame point guard with the Lakers, broadcaster, and billionaire entrepreneur is hinting he’d like to be involved with buying the Dodgers and bringing an NFL franchise back to Los Angeles.

The divorce of all divorces and unfortunate beating of a Giants fan has tarnished the Dodgers' historic brand. Magic's skill as a front-person and business acumen can fix this.

The NFL would be profitable in any American market, especially one as large and wealthy as LA. However, a revered sports hero, like Johnson, would help bury any resentment over the Rams and Raiders leaving.

--Oly Sandor.


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

NBA 2K12 ft. Jordan, Bird, Magic. Really?
Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 J.N.

NBA 2K12 ft. Jordan, Bird, Magic. Really?

2K Sports has introduced NBA 2K12 to the world. People were questioning if Michael Jordan was going to be back. Have no fear. He’s back bringing along Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Each one has their own respective covers. It’s great to have the greats of the golden era represent the game, but it’s pathetic to know that the stars of today cannot sell the game. Terrible. Yet, 2K should not use these three figure heads to cover up weaknesses of past incarnations. That would be pathetic, too.

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Friday , Jul , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq on LeBron backlash: ‘it happened’ to Jordan, Rodman, Barkley, and Magic

“I would not characterize it as unfair because like I said, it happened to everyone. It happened to (Michael) Jordan when he went to Atlantic City to get away from the game. It happened to Barkley. It happened to (Dennis) Rodman. It happened to Magic (Johnson). It happens to everybody. If it just started this year I would call it unfair, but I’ve been in the game for 20 years and I’ve seen similar stories.” (Shaquille O'Neal on CNNSI podcast)

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal has offered his first pearl of wisdom while gainfully employed as a TNT analyst.

‘The Big Broadcaster’ weighed-in on the scrutiny LeBron James faced after announcing he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers on national television last July.  

One the one hand, Shaq is right. Almost every superstar learned to win by losing. And almost every superstar faced a backlash for decisions on-or-off court.

On the other hand, Shaq is underestimating what James went through. Last season, he and the Miami Heat had a bulls-eye on their backs the size of, well, Shaq.

Yes, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson dealt with criticism. But no, it was nothing compared to the burnt jerseys, backstabbing, and letter from a former owner that were thrown James' way.

Of course, James dug his grave. He empowered friends who had little business being empowered. He isolated himself. And he, or his wrongfully empowered friends, approved The Decision and The Pre-Emptive Championship Party.

Rather than learn, change, and hire a PR firm, he spent the 2010-11 season fighting upstream against the media. And he seems determined to continue putting himself out there, regardless of the consequences.

Shaq’s first take on James is open to interpretation. He did, however, succeed in getting us to talk, debate, and discuss.

And isn’t that the job of a broadcaster?

--Oly Sandor.

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

Why was Kyrie Irving number one again?
Saturday , Jun , 25 , 2011 J.N.

Why was Kyrie Irving number one again?

The 2011 NBA Draft is done. Did your team get what they wanted? This particular draft was all about needs. There were many international players from all over the place. A lot of teams did not get what they wanted according to their fan bases. Rumored trades, and other stuff we don’t know, did not go down because of the uncertainty around the new collective bargaining agreement. This is completely understandable unless you are David Kahn. He was free-wheeling all over the draft. Trade away your cow and tractor? He’ll do that, too. 

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NBA Legends who are not the GOAT
Saturday , Jun , 04 , 2011 J.N.

NBA Legends who are not the GOAT

This comes up every playoff time involving great active players such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James right now in 2011. Whenever one of them goes deep in a playoff run putting up good statistics and highlight plays, the media and former players gas these guys up. The method is definitely a “prisoner of the moment” type thing. Why do you guys do it? There is a lot of front running and some trolling. All good though. I’m ready. We’re ready. My body is ready. Let’s do this. Remember that the standards are extremely high and strict. These legends have great accomplishments. However, further scrutiny causes them not be the ultimate GOAT.

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen suggested, on ESPN Radio’s Mike And Mike In the Morning, that LeBron James, and not his former teammate, Michael Jordan, could end up being the greatest all-around player the league has ever seen.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game,” Pippen said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Repeat.

While you’re meditating please remember Scottie Pippen didn’t totally go there. He didn’t say LeBron James was better than Michael Jordan.

Pippen sure came close, though.

He said James may be a greater all-around player because of athleticism and size. And he said James can a dominate game in more ways than Jordan.

Purists will be offended. After all, Jordan has six championship rings. James has none. Jordan transcended basketball. James gave basketball a bad name with The Decision.

Still, Pippen, in theory, may have a point. James’ rare combination of size, speed, skill, and power gives him a unique advantage over any player to ever grace an NBA floor.   

When it’s all said and done, James may eventually be in the same sentence as Jordan. Not now, though.

Here’s the reality: James lacks Jordan’s will and competitiveness. Remember, Jordan overcame the Detroit Pistons’ harsh tactics; upset Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals; handled Clyde the Glyde and Rip City; twice withstood the best John Stockton and Karl Malone, two Hall of Famers, could offer; and defeated Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the Seattle Sonics.

James has done nothing of the sort. Yet.

Let’s be fair: Jordan had help. It’s interesting his ‘help’ (Pippen) is so quick to deflect praise away from his former teammate and supposed friend towards others.

Maybe Pippen’s statement says more about the rivalry between him and Jordan, and less about James’ place in the game.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Lakers must pick between Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol

"Dr. Buss has a lot of work to do," said Johnson. "He's probably going to have to blow this team up after the season if the Lakers lose this series because you have to come back with some fresh faces. You have to pick between the two big men with which one you keep and then you trade the other one."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ah Magic, tell us how you really feel.

One of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers ever believes it’s time to dismantle the two-time defending champions. According to Mr. ‘No Look’, the outcome against the Dallas Mavericks doesn’t matter.
 
Johnson believes what was once the Lakers’ strength, their size, is now their weakness. And the twin towers of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol makes them vulnerable against athletic teams that run.
 
He may be right, too.
 
Johnson believes management must pick: Bynum or Gasol? Dealing one would allow the purple-and-gold to get back young, quick players.
 
Such a proposition is risky. For instance, what if the Lakers deal the wrong post?
 
Keeping Bynum would probably make the most sense because he’s younger and performed brilliantly down the stretch; however, he also has a history of injuries.
 
Hanging onto Gasol would seem problematic. His confidence is shot and he’s susceptible to mental breakdowns –like game three against the Mavericks when
 
Zen-Master Phil Jackson made like old school Bobby Knight and beat him.
 
But Gasol has a world class skill-set. When playing well, he’s easily one of the premier posts in the NBA. Those days, however, seem few and far between.
 
There are no easy answers in Laker-land. The former face of the franchise is right, though: something must change.
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Derrick Rose. The 2010-2011 MVP. Haters welcomed!
Tuesday , May , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Derrick Rose. The 2010-2011 MVP. Haters welcomed!

Derrick Rose is officially the youngest NBA MVP for anyone living in a cave kicking it with John Rambo. He earned it at 22 years old. Leading the team to the number one record is a tall order for anyone. The 2010-2011 season is historic mainly because of this. Basketball fans witnessed something amazing that we will not see again from any 22 year old NBA player. It was fun to see all of the games on DirecTV. Chicago’s offense and the opposing team’s defensive game plans truly revolved around the Poohdini of the Hardwood.

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