magic-johnson
Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins
Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins

The Chicago Bulls becoming the number one team, record wise, reveals a quantum leap this season and ramifications for the future. Not many people are examining the Bulls massive improvements – they practically flew over the Atlantic Ocean without breaking a sweat. Imagine predicting that the Bulls would be the number one team with the best defense before the season started. Imagine that. People laugh, mock, wants some weed that you smoked, and then label you a Bulls homer. That is why some of us should say, “We’ll see.”

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Basketball hardcore fans hate Derrick Rose as MVP. Why?
Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 J.N.

Basketball hardcore fans hate Derrick Rose as MVP. Why?

What’s going on? Derrick Rose is not officially anointed as the 2010-2011 NBA MVP, but people are coming out from the woodwork to get vocal. They banded together to try to prevent him from getting the award. It just seems that way, which is hilarious. I do not know what the huge deal is. What is the problem? A lot of people are up in arms about this. I have to figure this out. Writers and basketball purists are getting emotional over this. I have to explore the reasoning behind the hate. 

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The Greatest Team Ever Assembled
Friday , Mar , 11 , 2011 Paul Eide

The Greatest Team Ever Assembled

 

Can you believe it’s been 19 years since the original Dream Team dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics? Perhaps more amazingly, can you believe that in all that time that I have maintained my collection of Starting Lineup Dream Team figurines in its original box, unopened and untouched by human hands?
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Monday , Oct , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Oakley ‘loves’ LeBron joining Bosh and Wade in Miami

Popular opinion may be decidedly against LeBron James and his decision to hook up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in some kind of Super Friends situation in Miami. Not Oakley.

“I love it. I think in the old days, you don’t win unless you get some right players to win with. You can say this and that about LeBron but Magic had Kareem, James Worthy, he had three or four hall of famers. Bird had three or four hall of famers. M.J. probably just had him and Scottie but when it was all said and done, you had great players around you to win.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They don’t make them like Charles Oakley anymore.

He was an original; a one of a kind tough guy at the four-spot, who handled his business on-and-off court.

No modern player would slap their ‘union brother’ to collect a gambling debt or stake out another team’s practice to confront a certain point guard about disrespecting his lady friend. (Isn’t that right Tyrone Hill and Jeff McInnis?)

That’s old school. That’s Oak’.

He also speaks the truth. For instance, LeBron James deserved criticism for how he handled free agency. The Decision was disgusting.

However, King James did not deserve criticism for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat, especially from past greats like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.

These Hall of Famers conveniently forgot about their supporting casts. Reading their condemnation of James, you’d think Larry-Legend, Magic, and Mike won all fourteen 
NBA Titles by themselves.

As Oakley points out, they had help. Lots of it.

Bird played with three Hall of Famers: Denis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. He also had Danny Ainge, Cedric Maxwell, and Bill Walton made a one season cameo as sixth-man.

Johnson teamed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the game’s all-time leading scorer. ‘Big Game’ James Worthy is in the Hall of Fame. Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, and Mychal Thompson didn’t hurt.    

This, of course, brings us to Jordan.

Jordan’s partner in crime was only Scottie Pippen, arguably the greatest wing-man in the history of pro basketball and a top fifty player of all time.

Then there was the dude with the bad hair, tattoos, and wedding dress. Dennis Rodman - despite his run on Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab - is regarded as the most prolific rebounder to ever put on a pair of high tops.

Throughout his career, ‘His Airness’ also played with useful pieces like BJ Armstrong, Bill Cartwright, Horace Grant, Steve Kerr, and John Paxson.

The Celtics, Lakers, and Bulls weren’t one-man bands. Bird, Magic, and Jordan had stacked supporting cast.

Who did James have in Cleveland?

Well, there was Candace Parker’s brother. Don’t forget Daniel Gibson –better known as Keyshia Cole’s baby daddy. Jamario Moon was once a Harlem Globetrotter.

Veterans Antwan Jamison and Shaquille O’Neal were past their prime, while Mo Williams is undersized, streaky, and 'emo-tional'.

In South Beach, he has a once-in-a-generation talent in Wade. When The King and Flash get bored, they’ll toss the ball inside to CB4.   

Credit Oakley for speaking the truth: James made a smart basketball decision by signing with Miami. And he’ll likely get rewarded with championships. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Sep , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Heat to use Wade and/or LeBron at PG

Ira Winderman: Pat Riley says Chalmers likely ready for camp, but not Butler. Hints strongly at casting Wade or LeBron at point guard.(Twitter)

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, the Miami Heat should use LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade at point guard.

After all, James and Wade are two of the NBA’s premier players, meaning the ball will mostly be in their hands to run the offense and make key decisions.

The smart money is on James actually shifting from wing to lead-guard. Now The King can score. In fact, he can score at will. However, James excels when facilitating for teammates.

James has always been more Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan. But his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, needed him to score. So he did.

In South Beach, he’ll involve others. At 6-8 and 260 pounds, he’ll have a size and strength advantage over opposing point guards, creating mismatches on both ends of the floor.  

Look for the Heat to use James and Wade at point guard. The results shouldl impress.

-Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Andre Iguodala: ‘Kevin Durant will be the NBA’s all-time leading scorer’

Kevin Durant, Team USA's scoring leader after three games, is coming off a season in which he led the NBA in scoring -- something Andre Iguodala believes we should get used to seeing. "Kevin Durant will be the NBA's all-time leading scorer when it's all said and done," Iguodala said emphatically. "He loves the game and has a knack for putting the ball in the basket." Through three NBA seasons Durant is 33 points shy of 6,000 for his career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the league's all-time leader with 38,387 points. Karl Malone is second with 36,928 points, and Michael Jordan is third with 32,292.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Kevin Durant is a straight scorer. Like George Gervin and Bernard King.

While he’s on the verge of becoming, perhaps, the NBA’s best player, KD will be hard pressed to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer.

First, Kareem was able to preserve his body, in part, because he was a post. The Skyhook’s game was also methodical and efficient. As a perimeter player, Durant uses greater energy to get his numbers.

Second, Kareem’s slighter frame wasn’t an issue because old school players weren’t so muscular. Durant is especially skinny and long, which may become an issue in today's physical NBA.

Finally, Kareem had a superb pass-first point guard in Magic Johnson. ‘Mr. No Look’ and 'The Architect of Showtime’ hooked Kareem up with easy hoops. Durant doesn’t have this luxury because Russell Westbrook, a good table-setter, is still developing as a distributor.

Durant will have a Hall of Fame career, however, he’s unlikely to replace Abdul-Jabbar as the game’s all-time greatest scorer.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant measured by championships, not scoring

The odometer keeps rolling. Now that Kobe Bryant's turned 32, how much of a decline can we expect in his game over the next few seasons? [When Michael] Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls late in the 94-95 season -- at 32 -- he'd played only 778 NBA regular season and playoff games. By comparison, Kobe Bryant has already played a whopping 1,219 games, 57% more than Jordan at the same age. Kobe is clearly the NBA version of a Ferrari with high mileage. ... Bryant's stats have also dipped in several categories in the last five seasons: --Scoring per game: 35.4, 31.6, 28.3, 26.8, to 27.0 last season. --Free throw attempts per game: 10.2, 10.0, 9.0, 6.9, 7.4. --Minutes per game: 41.0, 40.8, 38.9, 36.1, 38.8.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: His numbers don't matter. Their numbers do.

The days of measuring Kobe Bryant's greatness by individual statistics are done. Instead, Black Mamba should be measured by championships he wins with the L.A. Lakers.

Nothing more.

The great ones, the creme de la creme of NBA talent, worry about one thing: the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Like it or not, Bryant's five championships put him on par with Magic Johnson. Another championship means he's in the conversation with Michael Jordan.

And when it's all said and done, total championships - not scoring, free throw attempts, and/or minutes - will be the real indicator of Bryant's greatness.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Saturday , Aug , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Can Magic Johnson save the Detroit Pistons?

Magic Johnson expressed interest Friday in being part of a group that buys the Pistons or at least in joining his hometown team in a front-office capacity.

Johnson is currently a minority owner of the Lakers.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In 1979, Magic Johnson brought life to the struggling Los Angeles Lakers. In 2011, he may do the same for the Detroit Pistons.

Of course, the situations are different. Johnson played for the Lakers; he'd own and run the Pistons.

This would be ideal for Motown. Johnson is from nearby Lansing, played with the Michigan State Spartans, and has the resources/contacts to invest in a poor city that has been hard hit by the recession.

The Pistons also need a new set of eyes in the front office. Executive Joe Dumars has lost his touch, showing too much loyalty to veterans from the 2004 World Champion team and overpaying mediocre free agents.

It's time to blow things up. It's time to start over. Frankly, Dumars isn't up for the job. Hopefully, Magic - if he successfully purchases the Pistons - has the stomach to hire a new architect to rebuild.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley on LeBron: ‘the one hour decision was a punk move’

``If Lebron is taking mental notes of everyone who is taking shots at him this summer, put me on top of your list!  I thought the one hour decision was a punk move.   I thought the dance in Miami was a punk move and I was very disappointed that he left Cleveland to join D.Wade's team."  (quote from Mike Greenberg`s ESPN morning show)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Charles Barkley, how do you really feel?

The TNT broadcaster and Hall of Fame power forward has been rather outspoken in his criticism of LeBron James. Barkley didn’t like that James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. He also didn’t like how he left.

The Round Mound of Rebound’s latest comments came in response to James tweeting that he’s taking ‘mental notes’ on all his enemies, and wants revenge.

Two points are worth noting.

First, Barkley, a former regular season MVP, is wrong to knock James for joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South beach.

James is at his best when facilitating instead of averaging 30 points per night. He’s more Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Oscar Robertson than, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. As a facilitator, he needs great players like Wade and Bosh.

At least, James will sacrifice to win. Years ago, a certain four-man’s ego forced Pippen off Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston squad, and compromised the Rockets’ chances of winning another NBA Title.

Sound familiar Chuck?

That said, there’s no excuse for how James left Cleveland. There’s no justification for him treating the folks who raised, loved, and supported him so badly.

Second, this again proves that The Decision created The Backlash. The ‘heat’ James is taking is self-induced. His tweet about ‘taking mental notes’ forced Barkley to comment.

Just like The Decision - his hour long ESPN special where he broke up with Cleveland for Miami - prompted the state of Ohio to burn his jerseys, while the rest of America named him public enemy number one.

If The Decision doesn’t happen, The Backlash doesn’t happen.

Perhaps James should take his mental notes silently. Perhaps Barkley should just be silent. Unfortunately, there’s zero chance of either happening.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Tuesday , Aug , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Obama’s hoops for troops, featuring LeBron, D-Wade, and Magic

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Being the President of the United States has perks.  Sure, there's a floundering economy, two wars, and an oil spill, but you do cool things for your birthday.

For instance, this weekend President Obama turned 49. He's a hoops fan, so naturally the Commander in Chief invited LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Dwyane Wade, Bill Russell, and others to Washington for a pick-up run to entertain wounded soldiers.

After the game, they had a barbeque at the White House. Pretty cool! Click the link and watch a news report on Obama's hoops for troops.  

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Magic on LeBron: I wouldn’t have played with Bird or Jordan

Add Magic Johnson's voice to fellow Hall of Famer Michael Jordan's: Neither ever thought of combining forces the way LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh did earlier this month with the Miami Heat.

"We didn't think about it 'cause that's not what we were about," Johnson said at Baruch College in New York, according to Bloomberg News. "From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan 'didn't have to think about it' because they had help.

Loads of it.

Frankly, LeBron James doesn't leave Cleveland if he has Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish, or Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, or, like Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, A.C. Green, Byron Scott, and James Worthy.

Who did James have with the Cavaliers? Anderson Varejao? Candace Parker's brother? Last year there was the old and overweight Shaquille O'Neal, who may soon be out the NBA.

Worst of all for James, this would never change because no star would come to Cleveland.

The creme de la creme of NBA prefer palm trees to Ohio winters. They prefer Malibu and South Beach to parka jackets and winter boots. They prefer major markets to blue-collar cities.

But James allowed Bird, Johnson, and Jordan to omit, alter, and twist reality with his free agent drama. The Decision' made him a target. And his spectacular failure in the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics didn't help.

Now everyone is taking shots. Only championships will silence James' critics and even that may not be enough.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jul , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jordan on playing with Bird and Magic: ‘there’s no way’

Michael Jordan talked about the decision made by LeBron James to sign with the Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said on Sunday. "But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has finally said his piece.

Yesterday, Michael Jordan told the world he would never, ever have joined forces with fellow greats like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson because he wanted to beat them.

His feelings are fair, but unrealistic.

Jordan never had the options Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade had. After his rookie contract expired, MJ signed an eight year, $25 million contract that negated any chance of partnering with an all-time great.

And when he finally hit unrestricted free agency, Bird and Magic had both retired, so a partnership was impossible.

Jordan was also the game’s undisputed greatest player. There was no parity between superstars like today. In fact, his greatest challenge might have been from teammate, top 50 all time player, and Hall of Fame swing Scottie Pippen.

Then there’s the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old CBA allowed teams a massive advantage in signing their own free agents. For instance, Chicago inked Jordan to several one-year contracts for upwards of $30 million.

The culture of the NBA was different, too. Teams wanted to win now, and the notion of cutting cap space for three years to sign a trio of superstars was unheard of. In fact, it didn’t happen.   

Of course, Jordan has the right to say what he wants and thinks. It’s not necessarily accurate, though.

-- Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Jun , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ricky Rubio has leverage over Minnesota Timberwolves

Ricky Rubio is promising NBA fans they'll get to see his razzle-dazzle, but not before the 2011-12 season -- and not necessarily with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the highly rated prospect said he won't leave Spanish club Barcelona before his NBA opt-out clause comes up after next season. The Timberwolves remain his team of choice, as long as they make improvements following a season where they finished 15-67, the second-worst record in the league.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Something must have been lost in the translation from Spanish to English –like showing modesty or being humble.

This is what the Minnesota Timberwolves must be hoping for, after their Spanish point guard prospect, Ricky Rubio, recently held court with the media in Europe.

In a recent interview, the Barcelona club star spouted off: he basically told the Timberwolves to improve or lose his services; described himself as a ‘colourful, attractive, spectacular basketball player’; and compared himself to being ‘in the mold of Magic Johnson and Steve Nash’. 

Under normal circumstances, a team should immediately consider cutting ties with such a prospect.

However, these aren’t normal circumstances in Minnesota. Even with two young point guards and other developing pieces, the club only won 15 games last year and can’t sell tickets, luxury suites, or merchandise.

Frankly, the Timberwolves –since trading Kevin Garnett – have become irrelevant.

Rubio would change this. Instantly. His razzle-dazzle game will put butts in seats. And suddenly, the Timberwolves will have an identity, presence, and following at home and throughout the world.

All of this equals one thing: money.

Rubio, of course, knows this. He also knows he has leverage and will hold it over Minnesota executive David Kahn and the entire franchise.

If the Timberwolves don’t give him everything he wants, he plays in Europe and forces a trade. And even if the Timberwolves do give him everything he wants, the 19 year old could still force a trade to a larger market with a more competitive team.

With such pull, Rubio has little need for modesty or humility.

Got thoughts on Rubio? Got thoughts on the state of the Wolves? 

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Monday , May , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why we love a Celtics-Lakers Final: Magic Johnson’s Skyhook on Kevin McHale

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Why do we love having the Lakers and Celtics in the NBA Finals?

Well, these two arch rivals have produced many epic moments. For instance, take game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals. The great Magic Johnson won the match for the purple-and-gold with a last skyhook over Kevin McHale. 

In the post game press conference, Hall of Famer Larry Bird conceded 'Magic was the greatest player he'd ever seen'.

Watch Magic's skyhook and let us know your favourite moment between the Lakers and Celtics? 

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Sunday , May , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Rajon Rondo is NBA’s best all-around PG

"Rajon Rondo is the best all around point guard in the NBA. Deron Williams is the best point guard, but Rondo is the best all around." 

(Magic Johnson, ESPN Halftime show, May 22nd, 2010)

HoopsVibe's Call: Forget point guards. Rondo has been the best player in the playoffs.

When looking at their total body of work, HoopsVibe News isn't quite ready to put him above Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or even Steve Nash. After all, Rondo, who's style resembles Jason Kidd when with the New Jersey Nets, has just started playing like an elite table-setter this playoffs.

Here's the real question: if you were starting a team, who would you want Rondo, Paul, Williams, or Nash?

Nash would get excluded because of age, wear-and-tear, and defensive shortcomings. Even with his fine playoff, most would still take Williams or Paul over Rondo.

However, that could change - and soon - if Rondo leads the Boston Celtics to an NBA Title and wins Most Valuable Player for the playoffs.

Who would you rather have Rondo, Paul, Williams, or Nash?