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Thursday , Nov , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Van Gundy situation’ shows Jackson toying with Heat and Magic

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy took exception to Phil Jackson's recent comments about Pat Riley returning to coach the Heat.
 
"Phil has no idea what the Van Gundy situation was because, even though he coaches in our league, he certainly had no insight or knowledge of that," Van Gundy said.

"So an analogy he'd make to my situation would be totally useless because he doesn't have any clue what the situation was in that case."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He killed two birds with one stone.

Phil Jackson, the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, believes Miami Heat executive Pat Riley will soon replace Erik Spoelstra behind the bench -just like he did with Stan Van Gundy a few years ago.

This is classic Zen-Master.

Jackson is known for mind games. He’s clearly toying with Spoelstra, Riley, and the Heat, as well as Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic.

After all, the Lakers are two-time defending champions. The Heat, though struggling, is expected to contend. The Magic were 2009 Eastern Conference champions.

So Jackson is trying to get a rise out of the competition. Publicly, the Heat had no response, while Van Gundy, as usual, was only too happy to tee off via the media.

Today, Jackson scored a small win. However, the real battle will come next spring during the 2011 playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Nov , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jonny Flynn to Michael Beasley: ‘be that Mike Beasley that I remember’

He has averaged 32.6 points a game -- the most prolific five-game stretch in team history next only to Kevin Garnett's 34.4 average in 2000 -- since he and Jonny Flynn ordered room service at a Sacramento hotel nine days ago.
 
"We were talking about AAU ball, high school, about how it used to be," Beasley said. "It was a long conversation and then there was an awkward moment for like three seconds and he (jonny Flynn) just came out and said, 'Man, you got to be that Mike Beasley that I remember growing up.' "

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Good for Jonny Flynn.

The second year point guard reminded Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Michael Beasley that he possesses the skill-set to be a superstar.

In The MIA, Beasley was mostly, well, MIA. He struggled with off-court issues. He couldn’t find his rhythm next to Dwyane Wade. And many nights he resembled a lost rookie.

Enter Minnesota.

Beasley is the undisputed first-option, and his numbers show he’s making the most of the opportunity. Gone are the distractions of South Beach. Gone is the pressure of being a second overall pick.

It’s just basketball. Like when he was growing up.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Nov , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

A Coincidence? Bosh scores 35 same day ‘Like A Bosh’ released

Bosh scored a season-high 35 points before sitting out the fourth quarter, LeBron James finished with 20 points and the Miami Heat ran away from the Suns 123-96 on Wednesday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe not.

However, Chris Bosh had his best game with the Heat – he tallied 35 points in Miami’s 123-96 win over Phoenix – on the same day a video called ‘Like A Bosh’ was released.

‘Like A Bosh’ was created by the boys at The Basketball Jones. This viral gem raises two points. First, Bosh has struggled since seeking the Miami spotlight. And second, perhaps we’re overreacting.

Only time will tell.

Watch ‘Like A Bosh’ and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts. 

TBJ exclusive: Like A Bosh from The Basketball Jones on Vimeo.

--Oly Sandor.

 

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Saturday , Nov , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Udonis Haslem: Paul Pierce is a ‘studio gangster’

"Paul who?" Haslem told reporters at Friday's afternoon practice, according to Michael Wallace of ESPN's The Heat Index.  "Man, ain't nobody paying them dudes no attention, man. You know what studio gangster is? Look up that, look up the definition of studio gangster. I'm here to play basketball. First of all, I don't tweet. So I wouldn't know what he tweeted if you guys didn't tell me."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Leave it to the heart and soul of the Miami Heat to respond to Paul Pierce’s tweet.

By calling Pierce a ‘studio gangster’, Udonis Haslem, a veteran energy player, was implying that Pierce was a fake for insulting Heat superstar LeBron James via twitter.

Clearly, Pierce’s Celtics and Haslem’s Heat don’t like each other. Not one bit.

Pierce and the green-and-white feel as reigning Eastern Conference champions they deserve greater respect, while Haslem and The Holy Trinity of South Beach are expected to cruise to the NBA Title.

See the potential for conflict?

Haslem’s comments are the latest development between these rivals. Expect their war of words to continue, especially once the Heat round into form.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: ‘Ah … I miss Toronto’

Ah...I miss Toronto. We always joke and laugh about the good times we had there, me and my friends. It’s good to miss something. If I didn’t miss it, that mean I didn’t have a good time.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Memo to Chris Bosh. Just stop. Stop talking to the Toronto media because it won’t change a thing.

Bosh, who ditched Toronto for Miami as a free agent last July, won’t change fans’ opinions by giving feature interviews. In fact, he’s making things worse.

The city’s five daily newspapers, three national television stations, and loyal fans are dissecting each word of every quote. Each time Bosh opens his mouth he adds fuel to the fire.

They won’t forget, let go, or move on, either. Take Tracy McGrady. He bolted Toronto years ago, but remains public enemy number one each and every time he plays in the Air Canada Centre. 

Then there’s Vince Carter. His jersey has been burnt. Radio stations have pranked his hotel room. And fans shower him with boos whenever he suits up in Toronto.

Bosh should expect the same treatment. The way he left neutralizes the seven years he spent in The Big Smoke.

His best course of action is to stop talking about the past in Toronto and win big in Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Paul Pierce mocks LeBron James

"It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach now on to Memphis''.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can you say rivalry?

The Boston Celtics do not like the Miami Heat. Not one bit.

The Celtics, who were a quarter away from winning the NBA Title, are miffed the Heat was picked to win the Eastern Conference, even though The Holy Trinity had yet to play a game together.

After manhandling the Heat for the second time in two weeks, Pierce, the Celtics’ closer and leading scorer, felt obligated to talk a little viral trash. His tweet is spoofing James’ (in)famous line during The Decision. 

Fair enough. Pierce has good reason to be confident.

Kevin Garnett has turned back the clock; Rajon Rondo is the NBA’s top all-around table-setter; Ray Allen’s stroke is still silky; the bench will be productive, especially when Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West get healthy.

Garnett and Rondo, in particular, should please Pierce and worry the Heat

The Big Ticket is one of many physical Boston posts who will give Miami’s smaller frontline trouble. Also, Rondo will have his way with the underwhelming Carlos Arroyo.

A rivalry is brewing between the Celtics and Heat. Right now, it’s one way, though.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Nov , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Terrence WIlliams wanted to send message with flagrant foul on LeBron

Then, after the game, Williams said the foul was a message - both to the Heat and his own team - for all the circus-like dunks and showboating from Miami’s superstar duo.

“At the end of the day I’m a New Jersey Nets basketball player and you have to put your foot down somehow in a basketball game. It’s nothing against LeBron, but at the end of the day I’m a basketball player. Falling in the stands is a little much. It wasn’t me trying hurt nobody. I’m trying to play basketball and make a basketball play.”

“I would say somebody doesn’t want to do something and you ask somebody to do it. But nobody wants to raise their hand. So I guess I raised my hand first. But whatever, I got a flagrant for it, which was a little too much.”
 

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Terrence Williams was tired of it.
 
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had taken over against his New Jersey Nets, celebrating open-court dunks with chest bumps and high-fives.

Enough was enough. With James racing down court for another highlight reel jam, Williams decided to shoulder the 6-8, 270 pound superstar into the stands.
 
Williams received a flagrant foul. James responded with seven consecutive points. The real excitement came after the game: Williams admitted his foul was a message to The King and his teammates.

Williams was annoyed with the Heat’s antics and was trying to appeal to the Nets’ pride. While his shoulder wasn’t an overt challenge like the Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah, the swing still deserves credit.
 
The Nets and Heat will see each other again –several times, in fact. Williams, for one, isn’t conceding a thing.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Nov , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James on The Decision: ‘I would definitely change it’

Speaking to the media from the New Jersey area, LeBron James acknowledged that he may have erred in how he handled the announcement of his free agency decision.

“If I had to go back on it, I probably would have done it a little bit differently,” James said. “But I am happy with the decision that I made.” James was then asked if he would change his approach. “I mean, I don’t know,” he said. “But I would definitely change it.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. He finally gets it.

Yesterday, LeBron James came clean, admitting his one-hour television show known as The Decision was a flawed monstrosity.

In case you’ve been living in a cave: in July, James announced on national television he was leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and signing with the Miami Heat as a free agent.

There’s nothing wrong with swapping Cleveland for Miami. And there’s nothing wrong with swapping Jamario Moon and Candace Parker’s brother for Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

In fact, you and I would do the exact same thing.

So it’s not what James did, but how he did it. The superstar three-man, an Ohio native, broke up with the state that raised and supported him on national television.

His free agency became a reality show spectacle. And James, rightfully, took ‘heat’ (pun intended) from fans, media, and the general public.

Of course, this was just a quasi epiphany. While James publicly conceded he would change The Decision, he had no specifics on what he’d change.

Oh well, baby steps.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Gibson or Jack joining Bosh, James, and Wade in Miami?

"Two different team executives said they expect the Heat to dangle $3 million and second-year PG Mario Chalmers to a lotteryy-bound team looking to shed the long-term contract of a mid-priced spot-up shooting PG. Riley's objective is to find another shooter to space the floor, a la BJ Armstrong or John Paxson in their Chicago days playing alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’d be a point guard in name only.

Reports indicate the Miami Heat is scouring the earth for a ball handler with a jump shot. Think B.J. Armstrong and Steve Kerr next to Michael Jordan in Chicago. Think Kenny Smith alongside Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston.

His role would be simple: dribble up-court, get open, catch, and shoot.

Sound simple enough, right?

The belief is Heat executive Pat Riley will acquire such a player after the December 15th deadline by offering a lottery-bound team some combination of money, draft picks and, possibly Mario Chalmers.
 
The names most commonly mentioned: the Cleveland Cavaliers’ ‘Boobie’ Gibson and Toronto Raptors’ Jarrett Jack.

Hopefully, Riles has something better up his aging sleeve. It’s unlikely Gibson or Jack call South Beach home.

Perhaps Riley missed it. After The Decision came The Reaction. Cavaliers’ owner Daniel Gilbert declared war on LeBron James in an internet letter to fans.

Gilbert called his former franchise face everything imaginable: immature, narcissistic, and the so-called king.

It’s safe to say Gilbert felt betrayed by James announcing his decision on national television, so he won’t trade him his former sidekick in Gibson.

Meanwhile, Jack isn’t exactly a spot-up shooter. Sure, he can knock down open looks, but he’s more comfortable shooting off-the-dribble.

Expect Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo to keep Jack because he competes, provides leadership, and makes reasonable money.

They’ll instead try to move Jose Calderon, who - because of his stand-still defense, big-ticket contract, and injury prone nature – wouldn’t fit in Miami.

The Heat wants a shooting point guard.  Wanting and getting are two different things, though.

Chances are, Gibson or Jack won’t be re-enacting Armstrong with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade in the south Florida sun.

--Oly Sandor.   

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Saturday , Oct , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Fan paid $26K to see Bosh, James, and Wade play Magic

A few months after dismissing ticket sales staffers, the Heat are now the hottest ticket in Miami. In what's always been considered a football town, the Heat are hotter than perhaps ever before. A pair of courtside seats to the game against Orlando sold on StubHub.com for the whopping sum of $25,884, company spokesman Glenn Lehrman said. StubHub's data showed that the average price for any seat was $325.
 
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I'd like to see the Holy Trinity play. You'd like to see the Holy Tirinity play. Heck, we'd all like to see the Holy Trinity play.
Just not for $26, 000.00.

Two courtside seats for the Miami Heat's historic season opener against the Orlando Magic sold for $25, 884 dollars on ticketstub.com.

That's some serious bank, especially in an economy where jobs are scarce, houses are being remortgaged, and consumer confidence is fragile.

For some, money is no object when it comes to watching Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Wednesday , Oct , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Work In Progress: Bosh, James, Wade, and Heat struggle in game one loss to Celtics

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics held off the new-look Miami Heat, 88-80, in arguably the most anticipated regular season opener in NBA history.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was supposed to be perfection. It was supposed to be poetry in motion. It was supposed to be unstoppable.

It is a work in progress.

This is the only way to describe the Miami Heat’s opening night loss against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday evening at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Heat, by their own admission, had an atrocious opening half, scoring 30 points. The second half was better; however, the Three Kings couldn’t complete the 19-point comeback because they ran out of energy against the well polished Celtics.

A few observations from game one:

•    The Heat ran too many high pick-and-rolls, a set that depends on chemistry and timing. Of course, the Heat haven’t played together long enough to develop chemistry and timing.

Conversely, the Celtics are an elite defensive squad. They’ve played together for years. And they have defensive chemistry and timing –especially when guarding the pick-and-roll.

•    The Heat need to improve spacing. Too often, they crowded each other. And too often, players were colliding.

•    Dwyane Wade looked off. To be fair, he’s injured. But his on-going custody battle has, understandably, taken a toll.

•    Eddie House, James Jones, and Mike Miller (when healthy) are living The Shooter’s Dream. With James and Wade, they only need to get open, catch the ball, and sink shots.

•    James was rolling in the second half, so why did Coach Erik Spoelstra pull him in the fourth quarter? This, along with a late Ray Allen three-pointer, allowed the Celtics to seal the game.

Game one for The Three Kings is in the books. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but every game, quarter, and possession will be under the microscope.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would Baron Davis have kept LeBron James in Cleveland?

The Cavaliers offered the Clippers guard Maurice Williams and forward Jamario Moon in exchange for guard Baron Davis earlier this offseason, according to a league source.

Cleveland, at the time, was desperate to please LeBron James, who eventually left for Miami as a free agent.


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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Desperate times, desperate measures.

This is the only way to describe reports the Cleveland Cavaliers tried to convince LeBron James to sign an extension by acquiring Baron Davis from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Davis wouldn’t have been enough. Not even close. Miami would still have won out for James' services.

After all, Davis - an overrated and overweight point guard - can’t compete with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and the lure of South Beach.

If the Cavaliers had acquired Davis, they’d be on the hook for the remaining three years and $43 million of his contract. 

This, of course, would be problematic. James would be long gone. Davis would be bored, angry, and hibernating through the Ohio winter.

Davis is a sad story. He has such potential.

A few years ago, he was the toast of the NBA –leading his ‘We Believe’ Golden State Warriors to a playoff upset over the league-leading Dallas Mavericks.

And TNT Broadcaster Kenny Smith has gone on record saying Davis has the game to be a first team all-NBA player each year.

While this may be hyperbole, Davis should be better than he is.

Right now, he’s the problem for the Clippers -a team he picked as a free agent. And he’d have been a bigger problem for the Cavaliers, especially without James.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Oct , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat want Jerry Stackhouse to replace injured Mike Miller?

The Miami Heat are looking into adding another veteran to their experience-laden roster. Jerry Stackhouse, who will turn 36 years-old next month, worked out for the Heat in Atlanta on Thursday, a source close to the team said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The MIA and The Stack?

Reports indicate the Miami Heat could sign veteran Jerry Stackhouse as a fill-in for hard luck Mike Miller, who is out with a broken thumb until January.

Stackhouse, even in his mid-thirties, can play. Last year, he was an off-the-bench game changer for the upstart Milwaukee Bucks, averaging close to 9 points in 20 minutes of action.

The concern will be chemistry, not talent.

Miller is a shooter. When healthy, his stroke will punish opposing defenses for double and triple-teaming Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. 

Stackhouse is a scorer, getting points in a multitude of ways. However,  his shot, while good, probably isn’t deadly enough to deter opponents from helping on The Three Kings.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Oct , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on Wade’s custody battle: it’s ‘way bigger than basketball’

He is in Chicago for the custody case involving his two young sons. The case will continue on Monday and it isn't known when Wade will be done testifying.

"What he's dealing with is way bigger than basketball," LeBron James said.

"So when he's ready to come back, when he's ready to return, we'll accept him with open arms, of course. We'll make sure we hold it down here. What he has going on, we're all in support, this whole organization, us as teammates, us as friends, us as a family."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Believe it or not, Flash is human.

Dwyane Wade’s play could be impacted by his on-going divorce. The split from his high school sweetheart was especially nasty; children were and still are involved.

Some games, the Miami Heat superstar will find refuge on court. Other days, he could be distracted, exhausted, and emotional. Such is life.

This would’ve been an issue in 2010. After all, past Heat squads sank or swam with Wade. The combo guard had to post triple-double type numbers for the club to win.

Things have changed, though. There are now ‘Three Kings’. Not one.

If Wade struggles, Chris Bosh and LeBron James will pick up the slack. Bosh, a left-handed post, can score in a variety ways, while James is arguably the second or third best player in the NBA.

So Wade should handle his business on the home front. He’s human and may need a little help or time off during this rough stretch.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Oct , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jim Boeheim: Carmelo Anthony ‘wants a place he can win’

"He wants a place he can win," Boeheim told the Daily News Friday. "And I hope he can do that. He's in the prime of his career. He'd be a great foundation to build a franchise on."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, Carmelo Anthony wants a place he can win.

He just wants to win on his terms. This means playing out east, preferably for a sexy franchise, and with a superstar pal or two.
 
If winning was the be all and end all, Anthony would give greater consideration to staying put. After all, the Denver Nuggets qualified for the 2009 Western Conference Finals.

In Denver, he’d steer clear of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, the Miami Heat, and the revamped Eastern Conference. In Denver, he has table-setter and former NBA Finals MVP in Chauncey Billups. 

Separating fact from fiction is impossible with ‘Melo. On media day, he publicly stated he never asked the Nuggets for a trade -despite well-placed and reliable sources saying otherwise.

Anthony has also told reporters this is a ‘basketball decision’. MTV reporter and semi-celebrity LaLa Vasquez, Anthony's better-half, has a different take. She'd prefer a major market like New York or Los Angeles over Denver or Houston.

One conclusion can be made: Anthony gets it. He understands this is a public relations exercise. While he hasn’t handled things perfectly, he has been better than fellow superstar LeBron James.

So expect Anthony and his people to continue talking about 'winning' and 'basketball', even if it’s one part of where he ends up.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Oct , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

How serious are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s hamstring injuries?

Heat forward LeBron James sat out practice on Friday as a precautionary measure after injuring his hamstring earlier this week. James first felt pain on Tuesday night against CSKA Moscow. He sat out Wednesday's tilt with the Hornets and the Heat didn't practice on Thursday.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade will miss the team's final three preseason games because of a hamstring injury. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said earlier this week that Wade was virtually pain-free, but the team wants to be cautious with the issue.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is there cause for concern in South Beach?

Two of the Miami Heat’s Three Kings are sidelined: Dwyane Wade will miss the entire preseason with a hamstring injury and LeBron James skipped practice with his own hamstring pull.

The Heat is wisely taking a cautious approach. Better safe than sorry.

After all, hamstrings are tricky. They can flare up anytime. And players often struggle to return to full health.

So patience and caution will rule the day. Wade and James won’t see the court until the regular season starts in late October.

The Heat has too much hedged on these two players and the 2011 season.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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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.

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Saturday , Oct , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Riley wants Rivers to coach Bosh, LeBron, and Wade

Heat president Pat Riley has Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the top of his list of potential candidates to replace Erik Spoelstra should he decide to replace the young coach.

Rivers thought about leaving Boston to spend time with his family this summer and doesn't want to discuss his future.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no surprise Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra is on shaky ground.

The Heat signed Three Kings Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade to win championships today, and can’t wait for a young coach like Spoelstra to continue developing.

If Spoelstra isn’t up to the task, he’ll be gone. No ifs, ands, or buts.

The surprising part is that Miami executive Pat Riley is considering hiring someone other than Pat Riley to coach the star-studded Heat.

After all, The Oil Slick may sit in the owner’s suite and not the sideline, but he still considers himself a star.

Like Bosh, James, and Wade, he loves the spotlight. He craves it. Always has since he, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Showtime Lakers took over the NBA in the 1980s.

So the expectation was that Riles would ‘Stan Van Gundy’ Spoelstra by planting a knife in his back for some trivial infraction and name himself bench-boss just in time for the Heat to win an NBA Title.

Hopefully, the Doc Rivers rumor is Riley’s way of admitting he’s done coaching. His final two seasons in Miami were disastrous; the players hated the five-hour practices, which resembled life at a work camp.

Rivers would be perfect for the Heat. He’s personable, yet demanding. He clicks with superstars. He has a championship. And Miami is close to his family home in Florida.

Problem is, Rivers is with the Boston Celtics. And maybe Riley is intentionally eyeing an unattainable coach, so he can justify his little comeback.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , Oct , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: Miami Heat will be good defensively

Through the first few days of training camp, Dwyane Wade has been impressed with Miami's defensive potential. "I know where we're going to be good, it's going to be defensively," said Wade.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Defense wins championships. It’s a constant in the modern era of the NBA.

The great Chicago Bulls –even with all-world offensive talents like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen – won six titles in eight years because they got stops.

The San Antonio Spurs became a quasi-dynasty because Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and David Robinson took care of their own end.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers won the last three championships by playing air-tight ‘D’.

So Dwyane Wade is right: the Miami Heat will win with defense. Not star power.

Fortunately, the Heat has the makings of a strong defensive team: Wade is an above average defender; LeBron James took major steps towards being a lockdown guy in 2010; Chris Bosh was a surprisingly decent banger for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics.

If the Three Kings defend, others will follow. Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem, two blue-collar posts, will have no trouble adjusting. Shooters Eddie House and Mike Miller will do their part. Mario Chalmers, an above average defender, and Carlos Arroyo will hold their own at the one-spot.

Forget the glamour. Forget the hype. If Miami collectively commits to playing defense, they will win. History is on their side.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Boston expects healthy Kevin Garnett in 2011

Kevin Garnett appears to be very healthy as the Celtics begin training camp.

"I think Kevin needed some rest, some time off, and he took it, but he's ready for camp," said Danny Ainge. "He's in much better shape than he was last year in training camp. I think that KG got better as the year went on last season and we saw him moving much better in the playoffs than in the regular season."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They need more from The Big Ticket.

For the past two years, Kevin Garnett has been a shade of his former self. He’s older. He’s slower. And he’s been weighed down by wear-and-tear and injuries.
 
Last year, the results were particularly tough. Garnett’s offensive numbers were off. The Celtics’ defensive anchor spent too many minutes on the bench in foul trouble for careless infractions.

A healthy Garnett would do a few things: the O’Neals - Jermaine and Shaquille - could ease into their new surroundings; Kendrick Perkins wouldn’t have to rush back from knee surgery; and the green-and-white would continue their reign as an elite defensive club.

Remember, the Celtics take their cues from Garnett. He’s a major part of their get-stops identity. They'll have to be at their best defensively to hold off the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and get revenge on the Los Angeles Lakers for last season's defeat in the NBA Finals. 

--Oly Sandor.

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