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Saturday , Aug , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Karl Malone ‘delivers’ prediction for 2011: ‘I pick the Lakers’

At the Hall of Fame on Friday, Karl Malone said he thinks the Lakers will win another title, and Scottie Pippen isn't even sure the Heat will make the NBA Finals.

"I would say this: With the guys they got, they're going to be a hell of a team," Malone said of Miami. "I pick the Lakers."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Mailman delivered a prediction Friday night.

While getting inducted into the James Naismith Hall of Fame, Karl Malone told reporters the Los Angeles Lakers would win the 2011 NBA championship, toppling the star-studded Miami Heat.

The former Utah Jazz great also took issue with how LeBron James left Cleveland, saying “The way it went down, I'm not into that."

Fair points.

After all, to be the champion, you got to beat the champion. And the Lakers are the two-time defending champions. They also improved this summer, shoring up their inconsistent bench by signing solid role players like Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, and Theo Ratliff.

James deserves criticism for turning the free agent process into a reality TV spectacle, treating the cities of Cleveland and Akron like they'd agreed to be bachelors and bachelorettes in a damn rose ceremony.  
 
Malone’s feelings are typical of old school greats, who don’t like the way the Heat assembled their roster. Fair or not, these greats are siding with fans, and viewing The Three Kings as villains for 2011.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Aug , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh on free agency: ‘I played with people’s emotions’

"If you think about how many times somebody asks you, 'How are you,' that's how many times I was asked, 'Where you going?'" Bosh told the Daily News on Wednesday.  "So it's like, well, in my case, I'm going to have fun with it. I'm going to play with people's emotions. I'm going to be high and low."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: There's no doubt about it.

Chris Bosh had a plan for July 1st. He knew what he was doing.

When free agency hit, the All-Star power forward was bolting on the Toronto Raptors and signing with the Miami Heat, joining fellow superstars and friends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

He executed his plan perfectly, using his rights as a free agent to sign with the team of his chosing. Fair enough. Just don't play 'with people's emotions' and don't brag about it afterwards.

Bosh should remember Karma is a mo-fu. For instance, Vince Carter kicked the Toronto Raptors after his trade to the New Jersey Nets, telling John Thompson he didn't always try and give a full effort.

Carter's career has never recovered. He stumbled with the Nets, and he struggled with the Orlando Magic in 2010.

If there's justice, Bosh will reap a touch of what he has recently sown.

--Oly Sandor.

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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.

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Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.
Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 J.N.

Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Jeff Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.” A long time friend brought to my attention regarding this comment about Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat. I’ve caught this awhile back and needed time to ponder about such a notion. You guys do realize that in order to break the record, the team can only lose nine games, right? Count that again – 9 games. Seriously.

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Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James is ‘taking notes of everyone taking shots at me’

Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James is taking notes, keeping score, and wants revenge on those who spoke out against ‘The Decision’ to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

Please. ‘The Backlash’ to ‘The Decision’ was avoidable.

Suppose James dispensed with the dog and pony show known as free agent wooing, privately broke up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and signed with the Miami Heat on July 1st.

Suppose he held a presser in South Beach, where he respectfully explained his choice to join the Heat and not re-sign with the Cavaliers. Suppose he thanked Cleveland, Akron, and Ohio.

Of course, there’d be some backlash. There’d be some talk of his diminished legacy. There’d be some talk of his shortcomings as a player. And there’d be some talk of him turning his back on the state that raised him.

Life would eventually go on, though. And the backlash wouldn’t become ‘The Backlash’.

By going on ESPN, by hiring Jim Gray, by playing with the hearts and minds of Cavalier fans, James instigated and asked for the criticism. 

‘The Decision’ created ‘The Backlash’. The sooner James realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Size matters: Al Horford must play PF for Hawks to contend

Hawks coach Larry Drew has told Al Horford that he wants him to spend more time at power forward this coming season. "[Coach] Larry Drew told me he wants me to play as a 'power forward' next season rather than at center," Horford said.

"I can agree on a lot as a player because that's what I've been all my life," he continued.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Size matters.

This is the Atlanta Hawks’ philosophy for 2010, and not the jingle for a Viagra ad or a late night infomercial.

The Hawks must super-size their line-up to compete with the top squads in the Eastern and Western Conferences, so they’ll give Al Horford considerable minutes at power forward, not center.

The Hawks are hoping to sign a legit seven-footer to play center. Josh Smith and Marvin Williams will split minutes at small forward, and may also see action at power forward.

Such a move is necessary. After all, the Hawks front-court was talented, but undersized in 2010.

And the rest of the league is big: the Boston Celtics have Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kendrick Perkins; the Orlando Magic has the hulking Dwight Howard; the Miami Heat will use Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Jamaal Magloire down low; and the Los Angeles Lakers’ frontcourt has exceptional length.

To compete, to have any chance at advancing past the second round, to go from good to great, the Hawks must shift Horford and become big.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: Heat will ‘break single-season win record’ of 72

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72]," Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.

"They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected," Van Gundy added. "There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  The only thing that matters is winning the NBA championship.

The Chicago Bulls' single-season mark of 72 games and the L.A. Lakers' 33-game winning streak are meaningless if the Miami Heat fail to win the Larry O'Brien trophy come June.

Nothing else matters. Nothing else will do. The Heat's Big Three were assembled to win it all; the blending pieces were specifically signed because they could help achieve this goal.

Jeff Van Gundy is right on one thing, though: the Heat are indefensible. However, their own defense will determine their playoff success.

After all, the Boston Celtics and Lakers have again shown that getting stops, specifically on the road, is the most important tool in winning a championship.

So regular season records are nice. Championships and defence are what matters for Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Cleveland and Miami feeling The LeBron Effect

Edgardo Defortuna, head of Fortune International Realty, says the LeBron effect is real but hard to quantify. He says 49 units at Icon Brickell have sold since LeBron's announcement, and July sales for downtown were nearly double the number in June. "I've had friends from South America call and tell me they'll buy an apartment," he says, "but only if I can find them Heat tickets first."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Cleveland hates him. Miami loves him. Just not for the obvious reason.

Sure LeBron James’ migration from Ohio to Florida will impact the Cavaliers and Heat’s on-court fortunes. The Cavs’ are now rebuilding; the Heat are now contenders.

Forget wins and losses. Forget the standings, playoffs, and quest to dethrone the two-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers.

James’ greatest impact may be on the Cleveland and Miami economies. After all, The King guarantees a sold-out building, which also means busy restaurants and pubs, full hotels, and, most importantly, the national spotlight.

Cleveland lost all of that. Their loss is Miami’s gain.

The Heat have already filled their building for the year. South Beach is buzzing. And now there are reports the struggling Florida real estate market is heating (pardon the pun) up.

All of this magnifies the poor manner in which James handled his free agency. Cleveland and Miami will be feeling the impact - good or bad - of The Decision for years to come.

--Oly Sandor.

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Fans forget how Shaq Diesel used to be dominant.
Wednesday , Aug , 04 , 2010 J.N.

Fans forget how Shaq Diesel used to be dominant.

A recent Shaquille O’Neal rumor has him close to signing a deal with the Boston Celtics to go on another adventure of ring chasing. It’s sad to see the old man like this chasing these things when he already has four. He is also a shell of his former self. The new generation of fans will probably only remember Shaq within the past 4 years. The long time fans barely remember O’Neal during his Orlando Magic days. Please don’t forget – Shaq was the most physically dominant center in the last 30 years.

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Tuesday , Aug , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Keeping White Chocolate: Orlando Magic re-sign Jason Williams

Jason Williams and the Magic have agreed on a deal for the 10-11 season, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. Williams spent last season with the Magic after taking a year off for personal reasons.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is a pleasant surprise.

The Orlando Magic recently signed Chris Duhon to a multi-year deal to serve as Jameer Nelson's back-up. The thinking was Williams - who came out of retirement in 2009 to join the Magic - would call it a career or sign elsewhere.

However, Orlando wisely inked him to another cheap, one-year deal. And why not?

Williams is an excellent back-up, exciting teammates and fans with his razzle-dazzle 'White Chocolate' game, while still posting excellent assist-to-turnover numbers.

He's also expereienced. Williams, after all, was the starting table-setter for the 2006 World Champion Miami Heat.

Bottom line: the Magic want to win it all in 2011, so signing Williams was a necessity.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Heat play Cavs on December 2nd

TNT will televise the first return of LeBron James to Cleveland in the uniform of the Miami Heat. The game will take place on December 2nd. Miami will also travel to Cleveland on March 29th.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On December 2nd, The King will return to his former Kingdom. And it will be awkward.
 
In early December, the Cleveland Cavaliers will 'welcome' LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Remember, James played seven seasons with the Cavs' before announcing on ESPN he was signing with the Heat.
 
Expect a spectacle. Expect fireworks. Expect an outpouring of hate.
 
Of course, James didn't help matters when he took out an ad in an Akron paper to thank the city of Akron. There was no mention of Cleveland or the Cavaliers.
 
Ouch!
 
And the James saga will take another turn in four months when he re-appears at Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cavaliers.
 
--Oly Sandor. 
 
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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should shut up and take the high road

“People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there anymore,” he said in a phone interview from Turkey. “It’s not just the players who see this.”

Bryan Colangelo recently accused Chris Bosh of quitting on the team during the second half of the 09-10 season.

"It’s funny that people will talk behind your back,” Turkoglu said of Colangelo. “If he was feeling this way, why not have the guts to say it during the season? Why not say it to Chris? Now that Chris has left, it’s not nice to say those things.

“Chris has been a franchise player and he did a lot of good things for the Raptors. I don’t think Chris is the type of player to quit on his teammates.

“I just don’t understand why you would say these things,” he added. “Like I said, that organization has problems.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They've all moved on, so it's time for the high road.

This spring and summer, Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo and former players Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu have exchanged words through the media.

If you're keeping track, here's a recap:

After seven years in Toronto, Bosh signs as a free agent with Miami. The way he leaves, tweeting constantly and smiling on television, alienates Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.  

Colangelo unofficially suspends Turkoglu at the end of last season for unprofessional behaviour. Turkoglu requests and receives an off-season trade to Phoenix.
 
End of story, right? Wrong.

In late July, Colangelo tells the Fan 590 radio station that Bosh 'checked-out' on the Raptors after the All-Star game. Bosh responds angrily. Turkoglu slams Colangelo and the organization.

Got all that?

The above saga resembles a junior high tiff between tweenie Twilight fans, and not the inner workings of a professional sports organization or professional athletes.

The key word is professional. Professionals don’t initiate nonsense. Professionals don’t get caught up in nonsense. Professionals are busy with their jobs.

Perhaps Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should just remember the ancient law of Omerta, where to quote super agent Arie Gold 'silence is golden`.

All involved may not be familiar with The Godfather or Entourage, so we'll try another route. They should remember the saying: 'if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all'.

Their mud slinging has made a bad situation worse. Thankfully, Colangelo now gets this and had little response to Turkoglu's recent comment.
 
"I still consider hedo a friend in this business and wish him well again in Phoenix, " he said.
 
Unfortunately, the damage is done. All three have taken a hit.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Saturday , Jul , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Heat sales team fired after Bosh, LeBron, and Wade sell out stadium

With the arrival of Lebron James, the Miami Heat rapidly sold out all their season tickets. That turned out to be bad news for the ticket-sales staff, which was fired Friday. In a statement, the Heat confirmed the dismissals Friday afternoon, saying that with an ``exhausted'' inventory of season-tickets ``we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.'' Stephen Weber, vice president of sales, delivered the news to about 30 ticket sales people Friday morning, according to one of the staffers who asked not to be named because he is seeking another job in sports.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On the one hand, this hardly seems fair. The Miami Heat's sales staff gets rewarded for selling out the stadium with a pat on the back and a pink slip.

On the other hand, the fragile economy means teams must cut costs wherever possible, so extra staff - like the Heat’s sales team – is a thing of the past.

The optics of such a move isn’t good, though. The public will be disgusted.

They'll wonder how the Heat can afford max' contracts worth approximately $330 million for Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, but can't afford $30 thousand without benefits for some dude trying to make ends meet.

Of course, the Heat is already public  enemy number one, and pulling an Ebenezer Scrooge on their sales staff won’t help.

Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Eddie House’s job with Miami: more than catch, shoot, pound chest

Eddie House's agent says the veteran guard has agreed to terms on a $2.8 million, two-year contract with the Miami Heat. Agent Mark Bartelstein said Thursday that the second year is a player option.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Catch. Shoot. Pound chest.

This will be Eddie House's official job description with the Miami Heat in 2011. And for his ability as a sharpshooter, for his ability to punish opposing defenses that double-team the Three Kings, House will earn in excess of a million dollars.

However, the journeyman also brings certain intangibles.

In 07 Seconds Or Less - the best seller by CNNSI's Jack McCallum that covers the Phoenix Suns' 2006 season - House was universally loved by teammates and coaches. Same thing with the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. 

Once again, the Heat did well with the House signing. He'll do more than 'catch, shoot, and pound chest'. He'll provide some much needed moments of laughter and entertainment.

This will be his unofficial job description.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New York heckles Chris Bosh

LeBron will hear worse, but Chris Bosh earned an earful Wednesday while at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell. Bosh, 26, who signed a six-year, $110 million deal with the Heat, rang the bell to promote his work with After-School All-Stars, which provides after-school activities to children across the US. ... But as Bosh toured the floor, one trader heckled him, "It would have been a madhouse in here had you signed with the Knicks." Another said, "Come back in 2016." Even a security guard got into the act, telling him: "Forget Miami, New York is where it's at." Bosh, who's finishing a week's visit here that included a trip to the Hamptons, told us, "About 600 people have told me I should have signed with the Knicks."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  While visiting the New York Stock Exchange, Chris Bosh was expecting a pass on his decision to sign in South Beach instead of The Big Apple. After all, CB4 was promoting his charity.

As they say in New York: 'forget about it'.

Brokers and traders took a moment off from robbing third world nations and/or selling financial instruments that could ruin markets to heckle Bosh.

This shows the heat (pun intended) The Three Kings and Miami will face in 2011. They'll be public enemy number one. They'll be the bad guys. And they'll be targets.

Night-in, night-out, the opposition will get amped to face Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. There will be no passes from anyone.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dirk Nowitzki had interest in joining LeBron and D-Wade in Miami

“It would already have to be an unbelievable situation to go somewhere, for instance with LeBron or Wade just to play in Miami,” Dirk said (in the Gooogle-translated version). “I would only be changed if it was an incredible situation that would have been offered. (Had LeBron and Wade asked), that would have been a situation where I would have to consider.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Suppose LeBron James and Dwyane Wade call. Suppose they suggest becoming teammates. Suppose they suggest doing this in the tropical and exotic location of South Beach.

What would you say?

Credit Dirk Nowitzki for being honest and admitting he’d have had interest. However, the German MVP would have likely stayed with the Dallas Mavericks.

Nowitzki is loyal. He wouldn’t turn his back on friend and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He wouldn’t have left Dallas, where he has played his entire career.

Miami would have been an awkward fit, too. In the 2006 NBA Finals, Nowitzki and the Mavericks lost to Wade and the Heat -despite leading the series 2-0.

There’s no guarantee Nowitzki, a natural scorer, would gel with James and Wade. Chris Bosh, Miami’s third superstar, will be a better fit on-and-off court with The King and Flash.

Expect Nowitzki to continue leading a competitive Dallas squad. Perhaps his loyalty to the Mavericks will eventually be rewarded with an NBA championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bryan Colangelo: Chris Bosh ‘checked out’ on Toronto Raptors

When it came to a Monday radio interview, Bryan Colangelo "chose his words carefully," but didn't leave many bullets left in his pistol. Colangelo intoned that Bosh took a long time to return from injury even though he had been medically cleared and that he started thinking ahead to his future at the expense of the Raptors. "Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games ... I'm not even questioning Chris' injury. I'm telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn't there and he chose not to play," Colangelo said. ... Colangelo went on to elaborate: "Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn't quite into it down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo may be right.

Perhaps Chris Bosh checked out on the club during the second half of the 2010 season. Perhaps he had already decided to partner with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach. And perhaps, he should have played through the pain.

Colangelo, however, was wrong to trash Bosh. Dead wrong.

Good organizations don't insult former players who left three weeks ago. They move on. They replace them. They sell fans on the coming season.

The two-time Executive of the Year knows better. He was schooled by his father, a well tenured NBA executive and minority owner who now runs USA Basketball.

Colangelo's perspective was understandable, though. Bosh showed Toronto no respect during free agency. His constant tweets and film making alienated Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.

His confidence and self-assured smirk must have had Raptor fans wondering what happened to the humble kid they embraced seven years ago.

So Colangelo may have been right. He should have resisted temptation and continued with the high road.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Marbury: Why you will never play for the Miami Heat!

Stephon Marbury told the New York Post on Sunday that he didn't turn down a chance to play for the Heat. In fact, Marbury still hasn't given up hope on playing for Miami.

Marbury said a Chinese reporter mixed up the translation of his remarks and that it was falsely reported he had rejected an offer from the Heat. He told the Post that Miami contacted him in early July before LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces. The Heat told him they would get back to him after "they handled all the things they had to handle."

"It's total nonsense, why would I turn down a chance to play for the Miami Heat?" Marbury said. "The report was a fabrication."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah Steph', it's not happening. You wil never play for the Miami Heat.

Forgive me for being blunt, but such a tone is necessary when dealing with the delusional Stephon Marbury, who still believes he has a chance of suiting up with the Three kings in Miami.

He doesn't. Here's why:

1) Marbury and LeBron James don't like each other. At least, The King doesn't jive with Starbury. As The Man in Miami, he won't forgive and forget by extending an olive branch to an over-the-hill, attention-seeking point guard.   

2) Miami already has three point guards on the roster: Carlos Arroyo, Mario Chalmers, and James. There is no role or minutes for Marbury.

3) It's all risk, no reward in Miami. Suppose they sign Marbury. He'd rarely play and they'd be risking a Starbury meltdown, which would bring more media attention.

Marbury isn't a bad guy, though. He has given back to his native New York. His signature shoe is apparently thriving.

However, he must face facts: his time in the NBA is over. Done. Finished.

Instead of plotting on an NBA comeback, he should continue playing overseas in China or do a tour in Italy or Greece -something he always wanted to do.

Anything is better than the current nonsense.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jul , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo on Miami Heat: ‘they ain’t done nothing yet’

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo doesn't agree with those that are already handing the 2011 NBA Title to the Heat. "They should be good, but they ain't done nothing yet," Rondo said recently. "They ain't done nothing."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He's right.

While training with USA Basketball in Las Vegas, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo wondered why the Miami Heat has been handed the 2011 NBA championship.

Miami will be good, very good.

Rondo correctly points out that the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are still the team to beat. The Lakers have balance, chemistry, and defense. The Heat does not. It will take time to establish these components.

On-paper, South Beach does look good. They have their Three Kings: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. They have their supporting pieces: Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Mike Miller.

But Haslem and Wade are the only strong defensive players on the roster, so the Heat may struggle to advance out the Eastern Conference.

For instance: how will Miami's star-studded roster match-up against Boston`s tough guys?

The Heat will take those meaningless games in the regular season. The outcome could be different in the playoffs when the best defensive team wins. Bottom line: the Heat isn’t a better defensive squad than the Celtics.

Last year, the green-and-white used their get-stops mentality to take out the highly favoured Cavaliers and Magic in the playoffs. And their grinding style nearly beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Rondo is right. For now, we should hold off anointing the Heat NBA champions.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

David Kahn on Michael Beasley: he smoked ‘too much marijuana’ in Miami

Timberwolves president David Kahn is confident that young forward Michael Beasley has matured. Kahn said Beasley used "too much marijuana" during his time with the Heat.Miami drafted Beasley with the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

"He's a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he's not smoking anymore," team president David Kahn said in an interview on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, "and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case."

 
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