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Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics looking for bargains to complement ‘Big Four’

If the NBA institutes a hard salary cap and eliminates the mid-level exception, the Celtics would likely to be forced to build around their Big Four with minimum-salaried players.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The new NBA will be different.

With the luxury tax likely replaced by a hard cap financial structure, have-franchises like the Boston Celtics will have a top heavy payroll.

Translation: the green and white will pay big-ticket salaries to Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo, and everyone else will earn the league minimum.

So GM Danny Ainge and the club’s front office are searching far and wide for bargains that can plug holes and fill roles next to their Big Four.

The green-and-white’s front office are scouting colleges, Europe, Asia, and anywhere else there's basketball.

This, of course, could be the new reality of the NBA, where a hard cap and revenue sharing creates some semblance of parity between big and small markets and have and have-not franchises.

In theory, an NFL style system sounds good, however, the NBA has always been a star driven league with high profile franchises. Think of the following for LeBron James and 'The Heatles' last season.

The NBA’s new and different financial system may kill the golden goose of showcasing players and teams.

--O. Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami Heat to sign lighter Eddy Curry?

I do think they’ll take a chance on Eddy Curry. They’ve worked him out several times and have been impressed with what they saw. The only concern was Curry’s weight, but he has been working hard this summer and has dropped over 100 lbs. He’s been in Tim Grover’s ATTACK gym every day and he’s determined to prove he can still play. Don’t be surprised if they sign him after the lockout ends. He’s a low-risk, high reward addition who could make a difference in Miami.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Miami Heat had a top-heavy salary structure under the old collective bargaining agreement.

They’ll have little room to strengthen their roster when the lockout ends and the new, stricter financial system is finally agreed upon by owners and players.

After all, the Heat took on three ‘max’ contracts when they signed Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade in July of 2010.

So Executive Pat Riley will have to go value-shopping whenever there‘s a free agent period, and hope to find a deal or two.

Fortunately, there will be bargains. Like Eddy Curry.

The puffy post became a league-laughingstock, earning and spending tens of millions of dollars per year to gain weight on the Knicks’ injured reserve.

Apparently, Curry wants to salvage his career. He’s dropped over 100 pounds and is eyeing a spot on the Heat’s roster. Curry`s post moves would create space on the perimeter for James and Wade and allow Bosh to roam on the elbows.

Best of all, the price would be right for the Heat. 

--O. Sandor.

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Thursday , Sep , 15 , 2011 Andrew Flint

Chris Bosh to Skip Bayless: insult my game, not my name

“My only problem is the whole misuse of the name,” Bosh said. “If I stink it up on the court…. my family takes a lot of pride in our name. My ancestors, we’re very prideful with the Bosh name. I don’t like it being made fun of. I don’t think they appreciate it, either.” Link HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s once again taking ‘Heat’. Just twelve months ago, Chris Bosh was taking flak for the way in which he left the Toronto Raptors and signed with the Miami Heat as a free agent. The criticism continued all year as Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade became targets for hoop heads living outside South Beach. Most of it was fair. Some of it was not. Over the summer, James and Wade have managed to avoid the spotlight and keep a low profile, while Bosh has continued to be a target. ESPN’s Skip Bayless recently called the left-handed power-forward Bosh Spice, implying he was soft and precious like a member of the all girl group from Britain. Recently, Shaquille O’Neal, when making his first appearance as a TNT broadcaster, took a swipe at Bosh, saying the Heat had two superstars in James and Wade. Here’s the bottom line: Bosh is the third star. There will be a backlash until he wins a championship. --Oly Sandor. Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Sep , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

‘Title or Bust’ in Miami?

I believe, for the first time in the history of this franchise, it is championship or bust, sort of where Riley stood during the best of Lakers times.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s championship or bust for the Miami Heat in 2012. Just like in 2011.

The Miami Heat made a bold statement when they won The Great Free Agent Sweepstakes of 2010, signing superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade to multi-year contracts.

With this coup, the organization committed to winning a championship each year. And nothing but hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy and hosting a victory parade will do.

After all, owner Mickey Arison invested nearly $300 million in these three players. And James - at the post-signing celebration - predicted ‘multiple championships’.

So the Heat have set lofty expectations, which justifies reporter Ira Winderman suggesting it’s championship or bust in South Beach.

To fulfill these lofty expectations in 2012, the Heat must upgrade the point guard position and shore up the bench.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Sep , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in Nene?

The Miami Herald reported Sunday that they expect one of the first calls the Heat make to be to free agent PF/C Nene.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ll call. They’ll talk. That’s as far it will go, though.

Despite having little cap space, the Miami Heat reportedly have interest in signing Denver Nuggets post and soon-to-be-free agent Nene.

Having interest is fine. Getting a sought after center to take a huge pay cut is unrealistic.

The Brazilian opted-out of the last year of his contract with Denver, leaving close to $11 million on the table. Whenever the lockout is settled, he’ll ask for, and likely get, term and money as a free agent.

The Heat are in no position to offer either. With $65 million in committed salary for 2012, they`ll have little-to-no flexibility when the owners get their new financial system.

So the Heat will call Nene. He may listen and consider taking less money to play with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Then he’ll remember what he gave up ($11 million) and will sign a big ticket pact with another team.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: Heat has Unfinished Business

We’re going to make some plans. We’re going to plan to do something,” Bosh said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “I think just getting around each other, I think it’s important as far as team-building is concerned and just getting something going. We’re pretty much still in the process of doing that.”


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Like the EPMD album, the Miami Heat has unfinished business.

At least that's the way superstar Chris Bosh sees it, who told reporters the Heat would start preparing for the 2012 season even though there’s little sign the NBA's labour troubles will be resolved.

The Heat, right or wrong, has been called many things by those outside Florida: arrogant, cocky, self-absorbed, villainous, and evil.

But there's no doubting their dedication as Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade seem focused on returning to the Finals and winning the championship that eluded them in 2011.

Consider that the lockout provides ample free time for the Three Kings to enjoy their wealth. They could lie on a beach, party non-stop in Vegas, and appear at training camp, whenever the lockout is solved, looking like former Vancouver Grizzlies post Bryant Reeves.

Instead, all three are working. Wade and James are focused on improving their already strong chemistry, while Bosh is punching the clock.

When training camp finally opens, the Heat - because of Bosh, James, and Wade’s determination - has to be the early favourites.

--Oly Sandor.

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Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!
Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Lakers guaranteed the 2012 NBA title already? No way!

Book it. It’s over. There is no need for the 2012 season even if the lockout ended right now. "Win it all," Artest said when asked what will the Lakers do in the 2011-2012 season. "Win the whole thing. That's a guarantee.” Wow. Interesting. And here we go again. Why must you do this? And why must some of Laker Nation have to front run so much? Why? Dallas Mavericks dominating the Lakers was not enough? You were not entertained?

Read More
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Wednesday , Aug , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mark Cuban calls LeBron, D-Wade, and Heat ‘the Evil Empire’

"The playoffs run 57 days," he said. "For me, it was 56 days, 23 hours and lots of minutes of pure anxiety. I really didn't start to enjoy it until there were about 30 seconds left in the game . . . and it finally dawned on me that we had finally beaten the Evil Empire and all those doubts."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mark Cuban wasn’t staying quiet forever.

The renegade owner of the Dallas Mavericks recently broke his silence and told reporters he took satisfaction in beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, who he dubbed the ’evil empire’.

Yes, there’s nothing like fuelling the fire of the Mavericks-Heat rivalry. Cuban, however, dumped a gallon of gasoline on it.

It’s all rather ironic considering Cuban’s Mavericks were public enemy number one in 2007 when they lost the Western Conference Quarter-Finals to the underdog Golden State Warriors.   

The tables have turned. For now, Cuban is on top. And he’s loving it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ron Artest on Dancing With The Stars?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest will put on his dancing shoes on the newest season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”.  My source close to Ron Ron has confirmed that Artest is one of the participants on the 13th season of DWTS.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwyane who?

Yesterday the world wide web was buzzing with reports Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade will appear on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.

Today the reports are different. Wade is apparently out, while Ron Artest, the Los Angeles Lakers’ larger-than-life swing, is in.

Wade, a smooth and graceful scorer, seems more suited for success on the dance floor, however, Artest could charm with his personality.

Hopefully, neither appears and have to get back to their day-jobs because owners and players settle on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Sadly, Wade and Artest are more likely to dance with a partner on television than to dance around an opponent in an NBA arena. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwyane Wade on Dancing With the Stars?

“I don’t know, but I did hear rumors and his name (Wade) did come up. I also heard Ron Artest too.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: NBA players have extra time with the lockout, and some are doing, well, interesting things with that extra time.

Take Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade. According to Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, Wade is rumored to appear on Dancing With The Stars if the lockout stretches into the regular season.

Yes, you know the show. The very one Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban embarrassed himself on.

Wade is a smooth, graceful athlete, so he’d probably hold his own as a dancer. The spotlight/pressure wouldn’t bother him after spending 2011 as public enemy number one with the Miami Heat.

Lets hope there’s a season and Wade doesn’t make his dancing debut.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: Rose and Bulls ‘one player away’

“They met us in the Eastern Conference finals, and they were one player away from making it a very, very, very tough series,” Wade told during an event for his “Wade’s World” charities. “Derrick Rose is evolving into a phenomenal player. You could look and see they’re one player away from being there every year.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwyane Wade thinks the Chicago Bulls aren’t far off.

Yesterday Wade declared that the Derrick Rose led Bulls are one player away from potentially beating his Miami Heat, who won the Eastern Conference championship in 2011.

Wade is correct when stating the Bulls need a shooting guard to take the offensive pressure off Rose, who too often had to create a scoring opportunity on every possession.

However, the Bulls' options could be limited by the new collective bargaining agreement, which would make it difficult, if not impossible, for an upgrade.

The club already has $61.5 million in guaranteed salary for 2011-12. They only have eleven players on the roster.

Now suppose the owners get their hard cap with no exceptions or loop holes.The Bulls will have to look in-house for another scorer, which means getting greater production from the highly paid Carlos Boozer.

Yes, Boozer. Remember him?

Boozer sustained a freak injury in training camp, missed significant parts of the regular season, and found himself on the bench for parts of the Bulls' playoff run.

Boozer has four years and $60 million left on his contract. No contender can get such weak production from such a big-ticket.

The Bulls will likely have little or no money for free agents. And Boozer may have to be the difference-maker Wade speaks of.   

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade not sure if Three Kings is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for NBA

Love or hate the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade knows that he and teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh set a trend the rest of the NBA will follow for years. “Yes, we have,” Wade said. “I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but more guys are going to look to team up and do things like that.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You can’t fault them for what they did. You can, however, fault them for how they did it.

Yesterday Dwyane Wade told media he, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James started a trend for superstar free agents last summer by signing with the Miami Heat.

He’s right. The days of one superstar leading a contender is over. The crème de la crème have to partner up to win an NBA Championship (of course, the new collective bargaining agreement may change this).

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s nothing wrong with great players seeking each other out and deciding to play together.

Free agency is about choice, right?

In fact, it shows this trio values the collective experience of winning more than being The Man on a second rate franchise.

So credit Bosh, James, and Wade for deciding to share, but criticize Bosh, James, and Wade for the way they came to this decision.

Last July, Bosh and Wade took the cameras everywhere. They talked about making a documentary on their free agent experiences; they fired off annoying, mindless tweets.

Bosh, in particular, showed a lack of respect for the Toronto Raptors, the team he led for the previous seven years.

Then there was James. ‘The Decision’ was an exercise in how not to handle free agency. He went from beloved superstar to hated villain.

Bosh and Wade also became bad guys when they pranced on stage and held a championship celebration -even though they hadn’t won a game or practiced together.

Wade is right. The Three Kings started a trend for free agent superstars. Some of it was good; some of it was bad.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lebron James: I dreamt my ‘hairline was back’ and ‘woke up’

Had a dream my hairline was back! Woke up and went to bathroom, turned on light slowly. Same ol story. Damn! Lol


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He can't beat them, so he joined them.

LeBron James' shrinking hairline has been a source of amusement for NBA players and stand-up comedians. This morning James got in on the act, poking fun at his balding dome via twitter.

Hopefully, this is a sign James is willing to put a troubled 2010-11 season behind him and lighten up.

A little humor would lessen the 'Heat' James and his Miami teammates will face whenever the season begins.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: Heat treated unfairly

“At that point it was me. Obviously we went through a lot last year. It was unfair some of the stuff that we had to endure but we grew from it. That’s over with. We move on to whenever we play basketball again and we will be a different team.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s relative.

Yes, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat endured a massive backlash last year and were the undisputed league villain.

Was it unfair, though?

On the one hand, this trio handled their South Beach union with as much modesty and class as Kanye West at an awards show.

On the other hand, Bosh, James, and Wade stay on the right side of the law, take care of their kids, and are involved with charity.

So to lump James in with Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump, and Tiger Woods may be a tad harsh. 

Of course, the public is split. The Heat are as polarizing and captivating a team to take to an NBA floor or compete in a North American sports league.

Perhaps the Heat were treated poorly, however, the public will not have sympathy for three highly paid professional athletes.

Instead, The Three Kings should embrace being the villain. The sooner they accept being the bad guy, the sooner they win that ever elusive championship.

And only then will the hoopla, controversy, and speculation teeter off.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: ‘I’m going to win multiple championships’

DR: It was great but I’m not satisfied. I won’t be satisfied until I win a championship. I’m not satisfied at all. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’m not going to win a championship. I’m going win multiple championships. It’s not a doubt in my mind.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not the same. Not even close.

In an interview with Hoopshype, Derrick Rose, the 2011 MVP and rising superstar for the Chicago Bulls, admitted he wants to win multiple championships.

Such a declaration should sound familiar. LeBron James was, and still gets, roasted for making a similar statement last summer after taking his talent to South Beach.

There's a difference between Rose and James, though.

Rose was talking about what he wanted to achieve in his career, which is fair. All players, especially the creme de la creme of the NBA, should have lofty goals.

James, however, was acting like he already won multiple championships when he boasted to fans at the Heat's pre-emptive victory parade. The glitter, glitz, and hype of that July day in 2010 was as grand as the L.A. Lakers' championship parade a month earlier in June.

Of course, the Heat hadn't won a thing yet -and wouldn't win a thing, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

So, put the daggers down. Rose's comments pass the smell test, while James is struggling to move past last July's blunders.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is LeBron as Hated as Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, and Trump?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This isn’t breaking news. And this isn’t a surprise. People don’t care for LeBron James.

James, the infamous and famous swing for the Miami Heat, scored near the bottom of an Ipsos poll that surveyed the public about their feelings towards athletes and celebrities.

The NBA’s current villain was joined by Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump, and Tiger Woods as the public's least favourable athlete/celebrity.

Here’s the question: does James deserve this?

Sure, The Decision was as a poorly planned and executed exercise since, well, ever. And The Celebration and The Prediction that followed were as bad.

However, James doesn’t do drugs, drink to excess, reference Tiger’s Blood and/or ‘winning’, cheat on his spouse (repeatedly) and claim to be a family man, attend sex addict therapy, or lead a bizarre crusade to discover where exactly the leader of the free world was born.

So we can hate the arrogance with which James handles basketball-related activities. We can’t hate the loyalty he shows lifelong friends, family, and Akron, Ohio -even if those relationships have gotten him in trouble. 

Perhaps we should despise James and the Heat for what they actually are: the New York Yankees of the NBA. And perhaps we should recognize James isn’t the Sheen, Trump, or Woods of the NBA.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: I will play basketball … I don’t know where

"I will play (basketball)," he said at the Dwyane Wade Fantasy Camp at Fontainbleau Hotel. "I don't know where I will play it. Just because we're in a lockout don't mean I'm going to stop playing the game of basketball."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Lockout or not, Dwyane Wade will play basketball next year. He just doesn’t know where.

Fair enough.

Wade like most of the NBA is waiting for the Players Union and owners to settle their dispute and negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Miami Heat guard, unlike some his superstar peers, has been bullish on playing during the labour strife. But why?

1) Wade would earn between $1-$2 million per month to play his trade for a club in a foreign league.

2) Wade would have numerous opportunities to further the D-Wade brand, which is always good.

3) Wade would show NBA owners that the players have options and do not need to fold during bargaining.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

The Game Disses LeBron and His Mom

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Add The Game to the ever-growing list of those who have bashed Miami Heat superstar LeBron James.

Apparently the California rapper takes a swipe at James in his soon-to-be released The R.E.D. album, saying “Fall back like LeBron’s hairline against the Mavericks / He lost” (Credit to Holly at The Score for the discovery).

This is nothing, however. The Game reportedly goes there. Yes, there ...

“Then I hit LeBron’s mom in Bron-Bron’s coupe /
With Delonte West taping, we had bon-bons too /
With Cleveland cheerleaders, they had pom-poms too”

One word: Wow.

Right now, James is a target; Tiger Woods aside, he's the most controversial figure in professional sports. Media, fans, NBA stars, and rappers have all slung their share of mud at James.

Some of this is deserved. The Decision and The Celebration, both part of James' departure from Cleveland to Miami, accurately portrayed the All-Star as self-centered and vain.

What is legitimate criticism? What is unfair? And where's the line?

Referencing a rumor involving James' mother and former teammate Delonte West, who suffers from mental health issues, is too much.

Way to much, in fact.

Keep in mind: James will eventually win an NBA championship. He and his Heat are too good not to. Last year they came within two games of winning it all -even though 2011 was their first year together and everyone outside of Florida wanted them to fail.

When that day comes, when James finally hoists the Larry O'Brien trophy, he'll have his revenge.

While criticism of his play, fair or not, may continue, this kind of nonsense will hopefully stop.

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Monday , Aug , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh on The Decision: ‘We all Make Mistakes’

Looking back on last year’s free agency and “The Decision,” do you look back and think it could have been done differently or do you just own up to it? Chris Bosh: “I say you own up to it. We all make mistakes. I think anybody would be kidding themselves if they thought they were perfect at anything.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
So, Chris Bosh believes LeBron James made a mistake with The Decision.

Well, left-handed power forwards in glass houses shouldn`t throw stones, right Bosh?

In an interview, Bosh indirectly said James slipped up last summer by announcing on ESPN he was ‘taking his talent to South Beach’ and leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

James admitted as much last year, although he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what he’d have done differently.

Equally as damaging to the Heat was Bosh, James, and Dwyane Wade’s collective decision to announce their arrival the way teams celebrate a championship.

The Three Kings held a massive party, and acted more like rock stars than NBA superstars. A sold out stadium of Heat faithful cheered. To be fair, James was the one who predicted multiple championships.

Bosh`s arrogance at this pre-emeptive celebration - along with James and Wade’s surliness -  turned off  fans outside Florida and solidified the Heat’s status as villains.

From that moment the Heat was public enemy number one. And they have yet to get the bulls-eye off their back.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in lighter Eddy Curry?

Curry weighed 350 when he auditioned for Miami in March. Curry intrigues Pat Riley, who might offer him a minimum deal postlockout if he loses another 12 pounds or so. His skills “are there, no question,” Grover said.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Eddy Curry could soon become Pat Riley’s Greatest Reclamation Project.

Reports indicate Curry has dropped close to 40 pounds and, if his waist line continues to shrink, he may sign with the Miami Heat for the minimum when the lockout ends.

This is rather remarkable, especially when considering how low the skilled big had sunk.

Curry made $31 million to play in 30 games over the last three seasons. He blew most of that $31 million and, reportedly, took out high-interest loans from dubious characters. And then there was this.

Of course, Curry might not be best for South Beach. He was a finesse-five for the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, and the Heat need a defensive-minded banger down low.

Still, Curry won’t cost much, so, perhaps, he’s worth the risk -as it will appease the people behind Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Move over Rafer Alston, Derek Anderson, Ike Austin. Smush Parker, Antoine Walker, and all others. Eddy Curry may soon be coming. You’ll have competition for Riles’ Greatest Reclamation Project.

--Oly Sandor.

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