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Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Tom Izzo scare LeBron James from Cleveland?

Tom Izzo is apparently closer to saying yes to the Cleveland Cavaliers than previously thought, a source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Thursday.

That source discussed Izzo's future with a close confidant of Izzo, who is coaching in the NBA. The source told Katz that Izzo, who talked to his team earlier this week about his interest in the Cavaliers, is leaning toward taking the job if it is offered.

"Three weeks ago that wasn't the case, but it has changed,'' said the source.

Izzo is meeting with Cleveland to discuss the team's coaching vacancy on Thursday.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Right now, Tom Izzo is wrong for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Izzo is a great college coach. In time, he may defy the NCAA-to-pro curse and develop into a great NBA coach. With LeBron James' pending free agency, now isn't appropriate for the Cavaliers to gamble on a sideline boss who has never coached an NBA game.

Imagine James' position on July 1st when he hits free agency. Think of his choices on the bench: the New York Knicks have former Coach of the Year and Team USA assistant Mike D'Antoni; the New Jersey Nets just landed former Coach of the Year Avery Johnson; the Miami Heat - if need be - will bring Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley out of the executive suite; the Chicago Bulls recently hired defensive guru Tom Thibodeau; and the L.A. Clippers will even let James pick his coach and GM.

With these options available, why would James re-sign with Cleveland and a green Izzo? These two aren't buddies like James and University of Kentucky coach John Calipari. And Izzo, while talented, isn't Duke's Mike Krzyzkewski.

King James wants to win now. A rookie NBA coach, even one with Izzo's resume at Michigan State, may be just enough for him to leave the Cavaliers and sign elsewhere.

Will Izzo scare away LeBron? 

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Wednesday , Jun , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami Heat considering Bosh, Boozer, Stoudemire, and then Williams?

I think that could be more of an after-the-fact type of trade, once the Heat and Cavaliers are done with free agency. If LeBron leaves Cleveland and doesn’t come to Miami, then perhaps there could be something to Beasley-for-Mo. But I can’t see the Heat, or any space team, making a play for before playing the free-agent market.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They'll go big. Then small.

The Miami Heat will first try to pair superstar Dwyane Wade with a co-star in the post. Options include free agents Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Bosh, for many reasons, would work best. He's bigger than Boozer and unlike Stoudemire plays defense. Also, CB4 has a relationship with Wade through their agent, Henry Thomas, and TEAM USA.

After years in Toronto, Bosh is hungry. He'd gladly defer to Wade -if it meant competing for a championship.

Once the Heat has their inside-outside combo settled, they'll look to upgrade supporting pieces. And the Cleveland Cavaliers have made it known Mo Williams is available.

Williams might be a fit. His smooth stroke would punish opposing defenses when they doubled-up on Wade and/or Bosh. Best of all, the combo point guard will have a giant chip on his shoulder after being effectively blamed for the Cavaliers' playoff failures.

One thing is certain: Miami has plans for the off-season. And it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

What should the Heat do this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.   

 

Word to NBA executives: Don’t chase after Dwyane Wade in free agency.
Thursday , May , 27 , 2010 J.N.

Word to NBA executives: Don’t chase after Dwyane Wade in free agency.

Yes. I said it. NBA general managers will be wasting their time chasing superstar guard Dwyane Wade. If you are still planning to pursue the man, it is not good if he is the number one option for any ball club, besides Miami, among others in the talent pool this summer. For a while there, he was the secret real prize. However, things change with time. Today, he is not the number-one grand prize as believed before and here’s why.

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Friday , May , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The ‘Twitter’ break-up: Chris Bosh and Toronto Raptors discussing sign-and-trades

"Chris Bosh's agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he's narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told ESPN.com's Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.

The list of five teams -- Toronto plus the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks, sources said -- were given to Toronto management in case the Raptors want to construct a sign-and-trade deal (assuming he doesn't re-sign with Toronto)."
 
 
HoopsVibe's Call: Chris Bosh will not come back to the Toronto Raptors. And the NBA's sole international team shouldn't want him to come back.
 
Bosh claims to be about winning and this summer is his chance, his sole opportunity to partner with LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and win a championship. After all, The Big Three, Bosh, James, and Wade, have already admitted they'll hatch out a plan over a sitdown dinner before the July 1st deadline.
 
How can Toronto compete? Frankly, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu can't.
 
Perhaps, the Raptors would prefer to cut ties with Bosh.
 
Fair or not, the team never had much success with the lefthanded post as the franchise piece. And Toronto management must have been disappointed when Bosh recently tweeted fans asking their opinion on whether to re-sign with the Raptors or leave the only pro team he's ever played for.
 
While this wasn't exactly Gilbert Arenas flipping a coin to decide between signing with the Los Angeles Clippers or Washington Wizards in 2003, it does show a lack of professionalism. 
 
For years, Toronto has been paying Bosh max' money to lead. But max' money players don't embarrass themselves and their team by discussing their future on twitter like a second rate reality television star.
 
Toronto and Bosh should agree to part ways and focus on a sign-and-trade. This would be best for all involved, especially if it doesn't involve twitter. 

Got thoughts on Bosh's future? Get at us in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Joe Johnson Expresses Interest in Miami Heat

But amid his struggles during the series, Johnson said he would take a look at all of his options this summer, including partnering with Wade.

Not only did Johnson say he wouldn't mind shifting to a secondary role on a team with an established superstar, he also would change positions.

``That's a great situation -- you have to look at it,'' Johnson told The Miami Herald while discussing his options. ``I'm not saying I'll go play with him or him. But being a free agent, you pay attention to everybody's salary cap, what everybody can do.''

No team is set up to in better position for bolder moves than Miami, the only team in the league with an elite player in tow and the flexibility to add as many as two marquee free agents to max contracts.

With plans to re-sign Wade and with at least $25 million in salary-cap space, Miami vows to be aggressive when free agency opens July 1.

``Most of the players in this league know what Miami is about,'' Heat president Pat Riley said.
 
Shimmy Fans, Rejoice: Antoine Walker Attempting NBA Comeback
Friday , May , 07 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Shimmy Fans, Rejoice: Antoine Walker Attempting NBA Comeback

I'm a simple creature, and as such it doesn't take a whole lot to keep me content. With the weather warming up, then, and the NBA playoffs in full swing, I was already a fairly happy chappy. This morning, though, things just got a whole lot better.

After reading a number of vague reports that 'Toine was mulling a comeback, ESPN today reported that Employee Number 8 was indeed bringing his four-point-shooting ass back to the league. If the league will have him, that is. Here's the information we have right now: 

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Riley to Return to the Bench
Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Riley to Return to the Bench

Pat Riley is returning to coach the Miami Heat as they attempt to regain their status as one of the Eastern Conference's elite franchises.

OK, not officially. Or even reportedly. But we all know this is coming, right? Current Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is probably packing up his office as we speak because he knows the writing is on the wall. He's seen Riley pull this stunt before and the current situation reeks of familiarity and deceit and frontrunning. And hair gel. 

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Tuesday , May , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Pat Riley to Michael Beasley: You’re OK, but You Need to Be Better

Riley said he told Beasley during his exit interview, ``You're doing OK. OK isn't good enough for me or for you. So let's figure out how to get past OK.'' Beasley said, ``OK.''

Asked if Beasley could play mostly small forward if the team's personnel dictates that, Riley said ``his comfort zone'' is power forward. ``That's the most logical place for him to be, but his game is expanding.''

Riley said ``ever since Michael was drafted, he seems to be the most maligned player in the NBA. He takes things so seriously because he reads and hears on a regular basis how bad he is. That's just the way it is. I said, `Get used to it in this league.' If you want to be the best of the best, you better get used to having a very tough skin.''
 

 

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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: I’m Prepared if the Celtics Target my Elbow

Garnett is the only player whose actions caused him to miss a game when he elbowed Quentin Richardson of the Miami Heat during a flare-up.

He served his suspension, but his actions could have ramifications. The Celtics’ matchups with Cleveland are traditionally physical, with Garnett in the forefront of Boston’s tough-minded defensive approach. Will referees look to harness him faster to make sure a game does not get out of control, especially if James’s elbow is an issue?

“They’re a physical team anyways,” Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown said. “Whether the elbow’s there or not, their mind-set is to be physical coming into the series.”

Although, James said, what goes around comes around.

“That’s fine,” James said. “I know a lot of those guys have injuries, too, so I’ll be fine.” 

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The Celtics are aging and irritable, and that means they're almost guaranteed to take a shot at LeBron somewhere along the line. If you haven't noticed, though, LeBron isn't exactly the type to get bullied. It's going to be a tough, ugly series to play in, but an awful lot of fun to watch. Fans of '80s-style hoops are really going to love this one. - CYE

 

Save Michael Beasley, please!
Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 J.N.

Save Michael Beasley, please!

I’m officially starting the “Save Michael Beasley” campaign. This is a long arduous journey filled with hot babes, hot sex, drugs, booze, self destruction, hot Miami nights, self loathing, self reflection, and change – not necessarily in that order.

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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jermaine O’Neal: I Want to Play for a Contender

“We have a great owner, Mr. Arison, and a great organization,” O’Neal said. “Coach Riley, we have a great relationship. And you kind of let the business take care of itself.

“You don’t try to worry too much about it. I’m at a position in my career where I feel healthy again. I just want to have an opportunity to play for that champagne and that ring, whether that’s here in Miami or somewhere else. I don’t know.”

The rub is that O’Neal considers himself a valuable asset, someone who still expects to get paid.

“I knew coming into this year, it was about being healthy,” he said. “That was something that I wanted to do, to play over 70 games and I was able to do that. I had fun again. I had a lot of fun. 

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Monday , Apr , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Zo, Paul Pierce: Dwyane Wade Is Staying in Miami

"Follow your heart, man," said Alonzo Mourning, longtime center for the Heat. "I know that his heart is here. Follow your heart, and everything else will take care of itself. You can just trust that [president] Pat Riley and [owner] Micky Arison because of the position we are in and the flexibility we have. I think we have the most attractive situation for a free agent. You got to trust and know that Pat is not going to sit around and wait. He's going to build a contender here. I think [Wade] knows that."
 
[...]
 
Paul Pierce, Boston's captain, has spent his entire career with one franchise, like Wade, and doesn't see him going anywhere else.

"He understands what he has here," Pierce said.

"It is tough to leave a place where you won a championship, where it all started for you. I think he really values that. He's definitely made this his home. It's going to be tough for him to leave. Even though he is carrying the team night in and night out and doesn't have the supporting cast anymore to be a contender, it's really going to be tough for him to leave because of the foundation he's built here so far. I think he's going to be here for a very long time."
 

 

Paul Pierce Hits Game Winner Against Heat
Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Paul Pierce Hits Game Winner Against Heat

After getting blown out of the gym by the Celtics in Game 2 (and that's putting it quite mildly), the Heat kept it close and played a fairly well in Game 3. Unfortunately, they reverted back to their non-winning ways in the final seconds...

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Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Miami Heat Could Trade Michael Beasley this Summer

There is a fairly strong chance that not a single one of those finishing five will be back with the Heat next fall when this soon-to-be-over series will be a distant, distasteful memory.

Yes, even Beasley -- the second overall pick of the 2008 draft.

What you may have missed on the eve of this series was a quote from Heat president Pat Riley that he seeks to build a dynasty this summer when Miami will have somewhere in the area of $24 million, as things stand now, to spend in free agency.

And as well as Dwyane Wade's supporting cast played Friday night in a gut-wrenching 100-98 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their first-round series, it remains a supporting cast too anemic to be part of what Riley has planned for the future. Richardson, Wright and Haslem are on expiring contracts, and Chalmers' contract has a team option. 

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Thursday , Apr , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: ‘I’m tired of answering questions about Beasley’

Michael Beasley has scored 19 points through the first two games of Miami's first round series against Boston and Dwyane Wade is tired of answering questions about it.
 
"I'm tired of answering questions about Beasley not doing this, not doing that," Wade said. "It's on Michael."
 
Beasley was the second overall pick in 2008 and is undoubtedly a talented scorer.
 
"It's going to click one day," Wade said of Beasley, as the Heat looked ahead to Friday's Game 3 at AmericanAirlines Arena. "Hopefully, it's Game 3. He has the ability to really make us a tough team to play."
 
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Tuesday , Apr , 20 , 2010 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

The Knicks Chick on Why the Celtics Are Going Home and the First-Round Match-ups

HoopsVibe is proud to welcome Marija Kero, better known to many of you as The Knicks Chick, to the team. Marija will be checking in with videoblogs covering everything from her beloved Knicks to Ron Artest's latest hair-related mishap. In her first piece, Marija shares her thoughts on Boston's bad temper, the surging Mavs and the ghosts of NYK past appearing in the postseason. 

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Monday , Apr , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

[vid] Glen Davis: Ticket Stub Is Coming Back

How do you replace The Big Ticket? Glen Davis said he's got the answer in his back pocket: The Ticket Stub. 

That's the nickname Davis coined for himself during last year's playoffs, when he filled in admirably for an injured Garnett. Davis averaged 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while helping Boston get within one game of the Eastern Conference finals. (The Celtics fell to eventual conference champion Orlando in seven games in the second round.) 

While Garnett and the Celtics awaited official word from the league about whether Boston's starting forward would be suspended for his role in Saturday's Game 1 fourth-quarter melee -- the league made the one-game ban official Sunday night -- Davis said he'd be ready to once again fill Garnett's shoes. 

"Well, if Kevin's out, I have to bring back the Ticket Stub," said Davis. "You all know the Ticket Stub, you all saw the Ticket Stub last year. If [Garnett is] gone, I've got the Ticket Stub right in my back pocket and I can bring it out." 

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