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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Jason Terry Calls LeBron a Loser

The chorus is "win, win win, win win," but at the 40 second mark Terry starts singing "lose, lose lose," and then says to the camera, "I feel like LeBron right now."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not just media. It’s not just fans. Players are piling on, too.

During the last year, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has been criticized, and even mocked, by anyone and everyone associated with professional basketball.

Yesterday Dwight Howard teased James about his vanishing hairline. Today Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry insulted James in a revised, Jet-version of a soon-to-be released rap song.

Of course, Terry‘s Mavericks beat James’ Heat in the NBA Finals, so he holds bragging rights. The league’s top sixth-man called James a loser.

This, perhaps, is a touch harsh.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, we, along with James, can watch Terry's slight over-and-over again.

Watch the video of Terry getting at James and tell HoopsVibe News your thoughts in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard mocks LeBron … again

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What’s a shot about receding hairlines between friends?

Usually nothing.

Well, things are different when the guys taking and giving the shots are two of the NBA's biggest superstars. It becomes a must-see. This is the best description of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard mocking Miami Heat guard LeBron James for having ‘runways’ on his dome.

Howard, however, wasn't finished. Not by a long-shot, in fact.

He then dropped a decent impression of The King and again took a run at his pre-game ritual of tossing chalk in the air.

Watch the video below and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts.


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Thursday , Aug , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nocioni and 76ers to part ways?

I don't know. The Sixers already said they don't want me. And now we're in a lockout. So I'll see what I do. Playing in Europe is a possibility.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Andres Nocioni will be on the move -again.

Reports indicate the Argentine swing will not return to the Philadelphia 76ers when the lockout ends and is open to playing with an NBA or European team.

This is and isn’t a surprise.

On the surface, it would seem a young, developing team like the 76ers would want a veteran presence like Nocioni. Remember, he does the little things and brings an edge.

However, the 76ers didn’t use Nocioni. For a variety of reasons, he played in just 54 regular season games and only got off the bench once for ten minutes in the playoffs against the Miami Heat. 

The only complication is his salary. Nocioni has one year guaranteed at $6.5 million, while his next team will hold an option on 2012-13 at $7.5 million.

Suppose the lockout lasts all year. His 2011-12 salary would then be negated. The 76ers wouldn’t exercise the option on 2012-13, so he`d be a free agent in July of 2012.

Things will change for Nocioni. The one certainty: he won’t return to Philadelphia.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers Targetting Chris Paul?

With the Lakersshowing more signs that their basketball mileage is catching up with them, they need to inject speed into their lineup. And with Mike Brown planning to abandon most of the triangle offense, they need a solid point guard. ... [Chris Paul] has the edge over [Deron Williams] because of his youth (26) and uncanny speed.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With the 2012 season in limbo, many have turned to speculating on next year’s free agent class.

One rumour keeps making the rounds: Chris Paul walks on the New Orleans Hornets to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next July.

Before you roll your eyes at the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for not fixing the migration of stars to big markets, recognize that this makes sense for Paul.

The Lakers will have financial flexibility. They have $67 million in committed salary for the 2012-13 season, but the club holds options on $25 million for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

While they won’t walk on Bynum, the purple-and-gold will gladly bolt on the final $8 million on Odom’s pact. There are other ways to trim salary.

Regardless of the system - hard or soft cap - the Lakers will be able to make a competitive offer for Paul.

New coach Mike Brown will replace the Triple-Post with a drive-and-kick system that relies on the point guard penetrating and running pick-and-rolls.

Sounds perfect for Paul, right?

The New Orleans Hornets can’t afford Paul. The league owns the team and the city can't generate enough revenue to pay for a top supporting cast.

So it’s generally accepted that Paul will leave New Orleans and join Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in New York.

Not so fast.

Last I checked the Knicks played in the Eastern Conference. Each year, Paul would have to go through Miami’s Three Kings to reach the NBA Finals.

And when the Heat have a down year, Paul would likely face 2010 MVP Derrick Rose and his upstart Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, with their air-tight defense, are no pushovers.

So Paul’s best bet at championship glory may be out west with the Lakers.

--Oly Sandor.

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


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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: ‘I’m optimistic that we will have a season’

“I'm optimistic that we will have a season this year,” James said. “Very optimistic.” A little anxious, too. He's working out twice a day, trying to erase some of the sting that's still there after the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Does LeBron James know something the rest of us do not? Secret talks? A covert deal? Has he chatted with Union Boss Billy Hunter?

I appreciate LeBron James’ optimism that owners and players will somehow strike a hail-Mary deal, however, the facts are tough to overlook.

Right now, there’s no negotiating and/or bargaining between owners and players. Both are holding firm and refusing to compromise on a new financial system.

The owners want salary rollbacks, a hard cap, and a greater share of the Basketball Related Income, while players want to stick with the current system -even if it’s out of whack with the post 2008 economy.

Yet James remains optimistic. Fair enough. Always look at the bright side, I guess.

Still, the negative is tough to overlook. Alex Meruelo recently dropped $300 million on a mediocre franchise, the Hawks, in a mediocre sports town, Atlanta, because Commissioner David Stern surely promised a hard cap and a better split of the BRI.

And to get those concessions the owners will likely have to blow-up the entire season. That’s right: no basketball for 2011-12.

So James can stay optimistic. I’ll stay optimistic he knows something the rest of us do not.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami looking at Michael Redd?

If the Heat cannot sign preferred choices Shane Battier, Grant Hill or Tayshaun Prince postlockout, Miami will consider Michael Redd.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is he healthy? Is he willing?

In theory, Michael Redd could absolutely help the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat win an NBA Title.

For years, Redd was a prolific scorer with the Milwaukee Bucks, killing opponents with his deadly outside range.

The left-handed gunner has the skill-set to punish defenses for cheating on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.  

Of course, health matters. In the last two seasons, Redd has played in just 28 games, and doesn’t resemble the perimeter threat that terrorized opposing defenses.

Redd's goal may be to re-establish his reputation as a star rather than support another team's stars -like Bosh, James, and Wade in Miami.

If healthy and willing, Redd would help the Heat. A contender can never have enough shooting or depth.

--Oly Sandor.

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


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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mike Beasley on the Goodman league: ‘The best league in the f_______ world’

“Goodman league. The best league in the f______ world,” Beasley said. “The Drew league is OK. They play indoor, man they don’t know anything about this hard life. It’s the streets out here man.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where are they? Where are the people who claim to have Mike Beasley’s interests?

Those people - friends, family, coaches, agents, and fellow players - need to check in with the former second overall pick from the 2008 draft.

 The last month hasn’t been easy on Beasley. He was cited for marijuana possession. He became a youtube sensation after shoving a heckler during a game in New York.

Now he’s spouting off to the press about the Goodman League being better than the Drew League because 'it’s the street’.

After personal and professional struggles in Miami, the forward found his way in Minnesota. Those strides have been undone. 

The Timberwolves must have concerns. They won’t give Beasley an extension because of their logjam at forward, and they can’t get equal value in a trade because no team wants a problem.

Worst of all, the Timberwolves can't reach out to Beasley because the lockout bans teams from talking with players. 

Bottom line: Beasley’s doing irreparable damage to his career. Somebody, anybody needs to make him aware of this.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Aug , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in McGrady –but not T-Mac?

If the Heat cannot sign preferred choices Shane Battier, Grant Hill or Tayshaun Prince postlockout, Miami will consider Michael Redd and Tracy McGrady, among others.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Would the ‘Three Kings’ welcome a king turned pawn in Tracy McGrady to South Beach?  

Well, the Miami Heat may have interest in McGrady, but only if - and this is a massive if - he agrees to a supporting role next to Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

The former All-Star would have to accept that the ‘T-Mac’ era is done and become the player he was at the start of his career with the Toronto Raptors.

Up north he used athleticism, length, and quickness to complement Vince Carter, who was then the league’s fastest rising superstar.

Back then McGrady defended any and every situation. He locked opponents down; he helped teammates; and he pressed and trapped in the open court.

McGrady also stuffed the stat-sheet. He collected assists, rebounds, and steals; doing the all-important little things to help right the Raptors' fortunes.

Finally, McGrady can’t be ‘That Guy’. He can’t be the veteran malcontent that complained and bragged in Orlando and Houston, and was partly responsible for sabotaging Detroit’s 2010-11 season.

If he’s humble, if he’s hungry, and if he takes another contract for the minimum, then McGrady may land in Miami when the lockout ends.

The alternative is to keep clinging to the ‘T-Mac’ identity and finish his career playing meaningless basketball.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Aug , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: No $2 million per month Chinese offer for Dwyane Wade?

“Dwyane Wade’s agent said Friday his client has received no offers nor has had any discussions with professional teams from China, but he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of that scenario changing. ‘If offers are made down the road, will they be looked at? Absolutely,’ agent Henry Thomas told on Friday. The Chengdu Daily reported that Zhejiang Guangsha was offering Wade $2 million per month to play next season in the Chinese Basketball Association, a report that was later denied by a team official.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: China makes the most sense for a temporarily out-of-work NBA superstar.

After all, China is flush with cash because of their strong economy. And with a billion people, it would provide opportunities to spread the superstar’s brand.

However, the greatest reason may be timing. The season doesn’t start in China until December, which would allow the superstar an extended break, while hedging his bets on when the NBA season starts.

Conversely, Europe is broke, the branding opportunities are limited, and training camp for the long season will soon be opening.

So Dwyane Wade, like most big-ticket American stars, will play in China or rest until the owners and union can find common ground on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Forget the $2 million per month salary, Wade has yet to receive a formal offer of any kind from a Chinese side.

That doesn't mean it isn't coming, though.

These clubs need to identify sponsors to help finance big-ticket offers and are waiting to see what happens with negotiations between Commissioner David Stern and Union Boss Billy Hunter.  

--Oly Sandor.

Will Wade stay or go? Well, get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

The Most Hated Coach In The NBA: Erik Spoelstra
Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Paul Eide

The Most Hated Coach In The NBA: Erik Spoelstra

Why does everyone hate him so much? Is it because LeBron shoulder checked him and he did nothing, proving to some that he is in fact just a figurehead? Or is it because he is devoid of any basketball pedigree and is in fact a regular human, whereas a coach/GM/legend like Pat Riley seems like a superhero?

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Thursday , Aug , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James Fails With Tim Tebow-Gate

Tim Tebow will succeed in the NFL. He’s a hard worker, a student of the game, a natural born leader and most of all a WINNER! It takes time and he’ll be nice.

Listened to Merril Hoge today on SC and he was just blasting Tebow. The man hasn’t even play a full season and its only his 2nd year in.

Guys get on that TV and act like they was all WORLD when they played. How bout encouraging him and wishing him the best instead of hating!!

(LeBron James, twitter)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Wrong again LeBron.

Last I checked media analysts aren’t paid to pick up pom-poms and cheer for those they cover. That’s what teams pay cheerleaders for.

(By the way, can you imagine Sir Charles, Shaq, or Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith working the sideline of a Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game? Not a pretty picture!)

Media analysts are paid to analyze. Hopefully, their analysis sparks a reaction, whether good or bad, from the public.

Merril Hoge was doing what ESPN pays him to do: analyze. Best of all, his analysis on Denver quarterback Tim Tebow struck a chord and got a reaction from arguably the biggest name in sports (that would be you, LeBron)!

I get the feeling this isn’t about Hoge or Tebow, though. This is more about James being peeved at the media for panning his play and behaviour in 2010-11 with the Miami Heat.

On the one hand, James had a superb year for the Heat, and established himself as the best player on a team that transcended sport. Perhaps he deserved better from the insiders and analysts.

On the other hand, James did not meet the expectation he set, and, according to some, fell short in the NBA Finals. The media called James on this, which, wait for it, sparked a reaction.

James has every right to speak his mind. So speak it. Put it out there if the media has been unfair to you.

Just don’t use Hoge, Tebow, or anyone else as cover for what you want to say!

--Oly Sandor.

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


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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Blake Griffin on lockout: ‘My first three seasons, I could play 82 games’

"I haven't stopped working out really since May," Griffin said. "It's been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can." Griffin says it's frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma. "Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games," Griffin said. "So, we'll see what happens."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year was overwhelmingly positive for the NBA.
The sporting world was galvanized by Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James joining forces and becoming the ‘Heatles’ in Miami.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s hard work was rewarded with an NBA championship, guaranteeing both immediate entry into the Hall of Fame when they retire.

Derrick Rose won the MVP award, leading the Chicago Bulls to the league’s best regular season record and a place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder took another step winning two playoff series before falling to Nowitzki and Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs and upset the San Antonio Spurs. After years of futility, the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers were relevant and entertaining.

There are other storylines I’m missing.

For instance, high on this list is the emergence of Blake Griffin, whose aerial antics reminded the world there’s a professional basketball squad in Los Angeles not called the Lakers.

(And this squad, the Clippers, can compete and delight despite being owned by the twisted and incompetent Donald Sterling.)

Suppose there’s a lockout. One that wipes out the entire season. Griffin, who missed 2009 with injury, will have played just eighty-two games in his first three seasons.

Fans would have to wait a year to see Griffin assault the rim. Fans would have to wonder what Griffin would do to defend his crown at the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. And fans, the purists, would have to wait a year to see Griffin’s above average passing and skill-set develop.

This is tragic. And just another thing Commissioner David Stern, the owners, Union Head Billy Hunter, and the players are risking with their posturing and rhetoric.

I hope they know what they’re doing. Griffin missing another year should be a last resort.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Aug , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant to LeBron Haters: ‘Lay off’

I think people need to lay off that kid, that’s what I think. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well playing on the Olympic team, and I think they just need to back up off him and just let him play and let him live his life. Let him make his decisions, let him mature as a player. “It’s tough to be under a microscope like that all the time. So I would like everyone to just back off him and let him play.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: First The Custodian. Now The Black Mamba.

Kobe Bryant has joined Brian Cardinal in the ‘LeBron James Apologists Club’, telling the world to ‘lay off’ and let the Miami Heat superstar live.

Sorry Kobe. LeBron is not a victim. Whatever pressure, scrutiny, and criticism he has endured over the last year has been mostly self-induced.

After all, James announced on national television he was leaving his home of Ohio to sign with the star-studded Miami Heat as a free agent.

Then James and the Heat held the 2011 championship celebration -eleven months before the NBA Finals were to be played. At this pre-emptive party James declared that his new team would win multiple championships.

Naturally, there was a backlash. Was the backlash fair? Was the backlash justified? Who knows?

However, it was predictable. A first year PR intern could have seen stormy times coming for James during the 2010-11 season.

Yet James refused to hire a PR firm to help his buddy from his AAU team that was clearly (mis)handling communications.

Kobe can have his opinion. He can even tell us his opinion. It won’t change James' predicament. Only James can do that.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Jul , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Brian Cardinal: ‘LeBron, I feel bad for him’

LeBron, I feel bad for him. Some of it he brought on himself, but at the same time, you teach your kids growing up to pass the ball, to play smart, to be a team guy, and for goodness sake, he goes out and gets a triple-double like he does in Game 5. He’s getting crucified because he didn’t score more. But I mean, he got a triple-double an they almost won.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Oh, the irony.

Dallas Mavericks role player Brian Cardinal believes Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was treated poorly during the NBA Finals.

Now I’ve seen it all. Cardinal, after all, is a journeyman. His nickname is The Custodian, and he’s made a living banging in practice and providing energy off the bench.

James is The King. He’s arguably the NBA’s top player, and his decision to take his ‘talent to South Beach’ polarized sports in a way few could imagine.

Cardinal and James are opposites, living at different ends of the league’s food chain. Cardinal does have a point, though.

Love him or hate him, James was - perhaps unfairly - criticized during last year’s NBA Finals. Rather than dominate the ball, he made a choice to involve others.

James’ Heat simply ran into a better team, the Mavericks, where every player knew and performed their role perfectly.

Upgrading the supporting cast will help the Heat in the future. Perhaps The King would be well served to have a custodian or two on his side -and not for sympathy.

--Oly Sandor.

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


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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard would ‘Never’ join LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, and Heat

Seems that a guy like Dwight Howard, nearly 7-feet tall and answering to "Superman," would be a perfect fit at Comic-Con, where he talked about both his budding career as a voice over actor and his basketball future. What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple ... but that's Rock's outfit." The Heat? "Never."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be like the Greasers combining forces with the Socs', or the Capulets breaking bread with the Montagues, or Paris Hilton ‘re-friending’ Kim Kardashian.

Or, like a want-to-be-superhero telling the Comic-Con masses he’d never join the villains, the bad guys, the capped-out Miami Heat.

Give Howard credit. He can charm a crowd -even if that crowd spends weekends playing D&D, Call of Duty, and comparing the old Star Wars trilogy to the new Star Wars trilogy.

However, this is bigger than Comic-Con. Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic, hate the cross-state Heat. They hate Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, known as the 'Three Kings'. And they hate arrogant Heat exec' Pat Riley.

There's little Howard can do. The NBA is locked-out. His Magic will lack the pieces, unless Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu rediscover their past form, to topple the Eastern Conference champion Heat.

Howard will opt-out of his contract next July and likely join another superstar. Perhaps something happens with the Lakers -if Jerry Buss falls out of love with Andrew Bynum. Perhaps he links up with Deron Williams and the Nets.

One thing is certain: Howard would 'never' join Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Russell Westbrook: There’s no beef with Kevin Durant

Westbrook also argued with his coach, Scott Brooks, and his star teammate, Kevin Durant, on the court, leading to speculation that he was feuding with both. And when the Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks, Westbrook shouldered most of the blame. In the two months since, Westbrook hasn’t lost much sleep worrying about the criticism.

“I refuse to let myself do that,” Westbrook told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve been working too hard to get to the position we were in last season to worry about anything somebody else was saying.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Superstars need each other.

In today’s NBA, one superstar isn’t enough to win a title. The crème de la crème of talent know they must partner up to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in late June.

For instance, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs have a few premier players working towards a collective goal.

(The 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks were, perhaps, the exception, surrounding their sole superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, with five or six very good players.)  

The Oklahoma City Thunder, if they are to join the ranks of legit contender, need Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook working together. Durant knows this. Westbrook knows this, too.

These two will never tell media or fans if there was tension over Westbrook’s questionable shot selection in the playoffs. They’ll keep it in-house, which shows they’re mature beyond their years.

However, coach Scott Brooks may want to clarify roles by reminding Westbrook that he is Robin and Durant is Batman. Not the other way around.

Brooks might also want to remind Westbrook he needs to focus on setting-the-table for teammates -as well as getting his own points.

Of course, this could be tricky. Once the lockout is settled, Westbrook and the Thunder will be ironing-out the details on a new, long-term extension.

Such declarations, if handled poorly, would do permanent damage to the Thunder‘s relationship with Westbrook.

All parties must proceed with caution. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT
Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks back to back title potential. Vol. REPEAT

This can be discussed even during a lockout. Dirk and the Mavs are still riding high from their hard earned 2011 NBA title. They swept Kobe’s Lakers, beat Durant/Westbrook Thunder, and then took out the Miami Heat. The team is battle tested especially with the grand fail against the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 playoffs. The Mavs lost a lot with a solid roster in the past. They overcame all of that in 2011.What’s next? Repeat. Duh. 

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Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

From Rupaul to The ‘Big 2′: Shaq vs. Bosh is very personal

“The Miami Heat, they’ve got a lot of great players, the `Big 2.’ They will be back,” O’Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. “LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he’s going to come back and have an MVP year this year.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: As a player, Shaquille O'Neal took personal shots at Chris Bosh –you remember the RuPaul scandal.

Today, Shaq put Bosh on notice that nothing will change now that he's a TNT analyst with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, and host Ernie Johnson.

While on-air as part of NBATV's preview of the 2011-12 schedule, 'The Big Broadcaster' referred to the Miami Heat as having the 'Big 2' of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Of course, the Heat is known for their Big 3 of Bosh, James, and Wade. So it's clear O'Neal was taking another run at the four-man.

Here's the question: why?

O'Neal needs to prove his worth to TNT. So he re-ignited an old beef with Bosh and generated publicity for the show and himself.

O'Neal has issues with other elite posts, too. The master-in-the-middle has battled Dwight Howard over more than the Superman emblem and has gone at Andrew Bynum since he was a teenager.

No doubt about it, Shaq planned today's attack on Bosh. And we, the media and fans, are giving him exactly what he wanted: headlines.

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

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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat wants Shane Battier?

Regardless of whether James Jones re-signs (and there’s mutual interest), we hear forward Shane Battier will be very much on the Heat’s radar after the lockout. The Houston Chronicle, after interviewing Battier, said “don’t be surprised” if he signs with the Heat or Bulls.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: How much improvement is necessary when you’re two games from winning everything?

If you’re the Miami Heat, a lot. It’s championship or broke in South Beach. Eastern Conference banners don't count. Not when your superstar predicts multiple championships at a pre-emptive victory party.

Simply put, the Heat was built to win it all –year after year.

Expect Executive Pat Riley to be active when the lockout ends and free agency opens. The oil-slick has eyes for Shane Battier.

Battier fits for two reasons. First, he’s a terrific role player, capable of spreading the floor with his range and defending premier wings. With Battier, opponents would get punished for helping on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. And James and Wade would have some choice as to who they matched-up with on defense.

Second, the Heat - right or wrong, fair or not- have a PR problem. Most living outside Florida couldn’t stand the ‘Heatles’. And most living outside Florida cheered when the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Title.

Enter Battier.

The Duke grad is well-spoken, intelligent, and humble. He communicates like a Fortune 500 CEO and/or politician. His measured, toned-down approach would lessen the day-to-day scrutiny the Heat faces.

So Battier would help on-and-off court. He may be the difference between the Heat winning and losing the championship in 2012 -if there's a season.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq on LeBron backlash: ‘it happened’ to Jordan, Rodman, Barkley, and Magic

“I would not characterize it as unfair because like I said, it happened to everyone. It happened to (Michael) Jordan when he went to Atlantic City to get away from the game. It happened to Barkley. It happened to (Dennis) Rodman. It happened to Magic (Johnson). It happens to everybody. If it just started this year I would call it unfair, but I’ve been in the game for 20 years and I’ve seen similar stories.” (Shaquille O'Neal on CNNSI podcast)


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal has offered his first pearl of wisdom while gainfully employed as a TNT analyst.

‘The Big Broadcaster’ weighed-in on the scrutiny LeBron James faced after announcing he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers on national television last July.  

One the one hand, Shaq is right. Almost every superstar learned to win by losing. And almost every superstar faced a backlash for decisions on-or-off court.

On the other hand, Shaq is underestimating what James went through. Last season, he and the Miami Heat had a bulls-eye on their backs the size of, well, Shaq.

Yes, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson dealt with criticism. But no, it was nothing compared to the burnt jerseys, backstabbing, and letter from a former owner that were thrown James' way.

Of course, James dug his grave. He empowered friends who had little business being empowered. He isolated himself. And he, or his wrongfully empowered friends, approved The Decision and The Pre-Emptive Championship Party.

Rather than learn, change, and hire a PR firm, he spent the 2010-11 season fighting upstream against the media. And he seems determined to continue putting himself out there, regardless of the consequences.

Shaq’s first take on James is open to interpretation. He did, however, succeed in getting us to talk, debate, and discuss.

And isn’t that the job of a broadcaster?

--Oly Sandor.

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