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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.

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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."

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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.


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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.”

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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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Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Clippers to take run at Battier?

The Clippers have cap room and also need a three and what he (Battier) can bring defensively.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’re still the Clippers.

When the lockout ends, Shane Battier, the top free agent on the market, will pass on Los Angeles’ ugly step-sister of a team and sign with a contender.

To be fair, the Clippers have talent –loads of talent, in fact. There’s dunk machine and rising superstar Blake Griffin. And he has plenty of help in Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Kaman and Mo Williams.    

Unfortunately, Donald Sterling, also known as ‘The Don’, isn’t going anywhere. He still runs the Clippers like a sad soap opera.

‘The Don’ has been accused of or sued for sexual harassment and racist practices. He also watched players shower, heckled players from his courtside seat, and told reporters he ‘never heard of’ the club’s free agent signings.

Battier knows the Clippers can’t contend because they’re dysfunctional at the top. Such poor behaviour and professionalism infects the GM, coach, and players. Regardless of their intentions, they can’t avoid ‘The Don’.

So Battier will consider the Heat and say thanks-but-no-thanks to the Clippers –because of ‘The Don’.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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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Thursday , Jul , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade on NBA Finals loss to Dallas: ’the sting is there’

Despite a month that has taken him to fashion previews in Italy and France, then to another camp he hosted in his Chicago hometown, Wade said the night of June 12 and that lost feeling still stings.

"The sting is always going to be there when you lose," he said. "Obviously, it was my first time ever losing the Finals. The sting is there, no question about it. I joke with the kids. I said, 'All right, I'm going to make jokes about it. You guys are not going to ask me the question.' Because the first thing, when they ask questions, they want to know stuff. I make sure I shed some light on it in a sense-of-humor type of way, but the sting is there.``

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat must embrace the `sting’ and get humble.

Last year was out-of-hand in South Beach. The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 and The Decision were offensive. Their pre-emptive victory celebration was highly offensive.

It showed that D-Wade, LeBron, and Bosh thought they’d waltz to the NBA championship and have no issue winning several more.

While their regular season was mixed, the Heat was outplayed and out-classed by the team-first, collectivist Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

The Three Kings, or whatever else they were calling themselves, had lost. Most were happy about this development, too.

The Heat's arrogance had turned off those outside of Florida. Wade and his running mates were the villains.

So Wade needs to embrace the ‘sting’. He needs to get, and stay, humble. He needs to get in the gym and re-discover the work ethic that won him the 2006 NBA Title.

Forget about the Heat upgrading their supporting cast. New additions will be tough with the stricter Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Instead, Wade must focus on how he can improve. This is the first step towards another championship. And a championship is the only thing that will lessen the ‘sting’ of 2011.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can David West ‘win big’ with New Orleans?

"I have to do what's best for me and my family," West said. "(Chris Paul) understands it's all about winning, and as the years go, by you can't get them back. I want to win and win big, win a championship. "But you've got to find the right situation, where it's reality and not fantasy. I just want to be on that stage, have a shot at (a title) and see what happens."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: David West want to win big. To achieve this, West, a free agent, can't re-sign with the New Orleans Hornets.

The Hornets, even with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, will likely stay the poster-child for have-not franchises. They will always struggle to compete.

New Orleans was poor before Hurricane Katrina. Six years later, they can't generate enough revenue to lure free agents to play with their stars.

West knows this. Most importantly, so does Chris Paul, the team's top player and franchise-face. Paul, unless the new CBA allows the Hornets to franchise tag him, will leave next July as a free agent.

He's out.

Paul's best friend in the NBA is LeBron James. In fact, James' marketing company, LMRM, represents Paul. The tiny table-setter will have learned from The Decision, and he'll only sign in a big market or with a legit contender.

Think New York. Think Orlando. Think Miami. New Orleans can't compete with these destinations.

West knows Paul will leave in one year. And West knows this means he'll have to leave, too.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tyson Chandler thinks LeBron is ‘the most scrutinized player of all-time’

Dwain Price: "He has to be the most scrutinized player of all-time." --Mavs center Tyson Chandler, talking about Bron-Bron on ESPN's Sports Nation.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's his fault, though.

Tyson Chandler is right to declare LeBron James the world's most highly scrutinized athlete. However, James, and nobody else, is to blame for this.

After all, The Decision was not a good look. It was an example of how not to handle free agency and what will go wrong when 'your boys' handle your career.

Then there was The Victory Party. After signing James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat threw a pre-emptive championship shindig, complete with all the bells and whistles.

The Three Kings hadn't won a championship. They hadn't even won a game. Such details didn't prevent James from suggesting his Heat would win several championships.

These acts, The Decision and The Victory Party, sealed James' fate. He went from hero to villain faster than any athlete, actor, or musician of recent memory.

James dug his grave. He must now live in it –which means having the masses cheer when his star-studded Heat lose the 2011 NBA Finals to Chandler's Dallas Mavericks. 

There's a solution: James leads the Heat to a championship. Hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy would silence most, if not all, of his critics.

Most would begrudgingly forgive James for The Decision and The Victory Party. They wouldn't forget but they'd forgive. 

Forgiveness would be the start of James, the world's most scrutinized athlete, rebuilding his image.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

What will Wolves do with Mike Beasley after marijuana citation?

Minnetonka Police say Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was cited for marijuana possession and speeding in Minnetonka last week. Beasley was pulled over on June 26 for speeding around 3 a.m. on Interstate 394 and Carlson Parkway. He was clocked at 84 mph in a 65 mph zone.  Police also found 16.2 grams of marijuana in Beasley's vehicle.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We were wrong.

We were wrong to think Michael Beasley was passed this. We wrong to think he left his troubles at the clubs in South Beach. And were wrong to applaud his fine season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He fooled us. All of us.

Reports indicate police pulled Beasley over for speeding last week and found 16 grams of marijuana in his vehicle.

This is not a good look for anyone, especially a pro athlete who has battled addiction and mental health issues.

Clearly, Miami's nightlife wasn’t the issue. The issue is Beasley, who found trouble in quiet Minnesota. Once again, he has slipped. Once again, he needs help.

Then there’s the basketball side of this. The Timberwolves seemed interested in giving Beasley a multi-year extension when the lockout ended.

They’ll reconsider. In fact, they'll probably pass.

Expect the Wolves to commit more resources, time, and money to developing second overall pick Derrick Williams, a talented and athletic forward with none of Beasley’s baggage.

Problem is, there won't be much of a market for Beasley. Few, if any, teams will take a chance on him via trade or by floating an offer in free agency.

He still has time; time to change. Just ask Lamar Odom, Chris Webber, and Jason Williams. The clock is ticking, though.

Hopefully, Beasley gets it right. And fast.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bosh, LeBron, D-Wade, and Heat have most to lose with Lockout?

You’re coming off an NBA Finals where your team fell painfully short of its second world championship, and you have only three more years of guaranteed time with the LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade before their player options come up, giving all three the freedom to head elsewhere if this isn’t working out as planned.

Is this really the time for labor strife to potentially cost you a full season? Isn’t this the worst possible time to consider bonding with these newer, more desperate owners around the league for the sake of shared health? Wouldn’t a potential lost season put a huge dent into this perfect model you essentially have spent four years planning for and building?

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Like De La Soul said, The Stakes is High.

Right now, the Miami Heat has the most to lose if there’s a prolonged work stoppage and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with a hard cap.

It starts with owner Micky Arison. The billionaire has invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the Three Kings -Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

The controversial trio is only signed for a guaranteed four years. 2010-11 is in the books. 2011-12 is at risk because of the lockout.

Of course, the entire Heat model is also at risk. Suppose the owners win negotiations. Suppose they implement a hard cap. Suppose they rollback salaries.

Despite what he said publicly, Heat executive Pat Riley may be forced to break up his star trio. And Bosh would be the one to go.

Upgrading the supporting cast will also be a problem. With a top-heavy salary structure, the Heat will have little money to sign a point guard or center. Especially if soft cap loop-holes like the veteran`s minimum and mid-level exception are eliminated. 

Whenever next year begins, the Eastern Conference champions could look different.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jun , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bosh, LeBron, D-Wade pushing Heat to sign Eddy Curry?

With the beginning of free agency just a few days away, its no surprise that there are little tidbits of rumors and information starting to find their way into the hands of the media.  The Sun-Sentinel reported on Monday that the Heat had been working with free-agent center Eddy Cury, who has barely played over the past three seasons.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t see it. I don’t see what Eddy Curry can offer the Miami Heat.

After all, Curry played a grand total of ten games in the last three seasons. He's several seasons removed from posting nice numbers for the New York Knicks.

Then there’s the fit. The Heat need an athlete. Someone to score, defend, and play both ends of the floor.

That’s not Curry. The Chicago native was once a skilled center, but he always struggled with defense. His skill will be gone after such a lengthy layoff, and his defense will be even worse becase of poor conditioning.

There were off-court issues, too. Curry, despite signing a massive contract, was in debt because of atrocious decisions. Then there was this.

Why is the Heat so interested in Curry? Three words: Bosh, LeBron, D-Wade.

Curry has the same management as the 'Three Kings'. So Executive Pat Riley may be tossing the people behind his superstars a bone.

If so, this isn’t basketball. This is business. And bad business at that.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jun , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Doc Rivers’ advice for LeBron: Tell The Media To ‘Screw’ Itself

When asked about the level of criticism LeBron received, Rivers was surprisingly sympathetic: "Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it inflicted by everyone else. After Game 3, someone asked LeBron, 'When are you going to step up'?. The problem is that he answered, when he should have said 'Go screw yourself'."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Doc Rivers is comfortable in his skin. LeBron James is not.

So Rivers, when absolutely necessary, can tell off the media without worrying about consequences or repercussions. Things usually work out for the Boston Celtics’ personable sideline boss.

James, however, is different. His image has fallen faster than the American real estate market. Everything he says has consequences and/or repercussions. Lately, things haven’t been working out for the Miami Heat’s superstar.

What’s the answer?

Well, James has to find better people to support him. For instance, his media/communications guy can’t be his boy from an old AAU team.

James needs a world-class PR firm by his side 24/7. He needs to be retrained on interacting with the media. And he needs to do this now.

Finally, he needs to reflect and think on what’s important: his family and basketball. Hopefully, gaining perspective will allow James to again feel comfortable with himself.

Everything else, on and off-court, will fall into place.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stan Van Gundy to LeBron: Stop Crying About Media

‘No I can’t say that. Look I’m not the most empathetic person in the world anyway, but look first of all it’s sports. The thing that would make me feel bad for somebody was some personal issue. I’m not going to feel bad that you are struggling on a basketball court because you only get to within two wins of a championship. Come on there was nothing to feel sorry for. I got a little tired I’ll admit of the whole everybody hates us routine. I thought first of all it’s not true. Okay it’s the same as the Yankees type of thing. There’s just a lot of people interested, so there may be more people who dislike you. There are also more people that like you. There’s a great deal of interest. Second of all they brought it on…LeBron more than anybody. They brought all that scrutiny and attention on yourself. You went out seeking it then don’t cry in the face of it. That to me got to be a very tiresome story line.’”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Part of this is about LeBron James. Most of this is about Pat Riley.

Remember, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was once gainfully employed as head coach of the Miami Heat. Riley was his boss, mentor, and friend.

Riley then fired Stan Van Gundy, so he could take over behind the bench. The Heat won the 2006 championship. Stan and brother Jeff Van Gundy, a former head coach turned broadcaster, have been warring with Riley ever since.

In fact, the Van Gundys never pass on a chance to slam the Hall of Fame sideline boss.

Stan Van Gundy is right: the Heat, especially James, brought this on themselves. They hosted a celebration after signing the Three Kings. And James boldly predicted that the Heat would win multiple championships.

So James and the Heatles can’t complain. They set the bar exceptionally high. They failed to reach those expectations. Now fans, as Stan Van Gundy mentioned, are holding them accountable.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Pat Riley ‘crying wolf’ about coaching Miami?

‘No, I’m not going to do that.’ He paused, adding, ‘It doesn’t mean I don’t have the fire. But we’ve got a great young coach here.’ While Riley would not discuss specifics about Spoelstra’s coaching future, he said, ;Definitely we’re going to bring Erik back. As far as any long-term type of situation, that has not been discussed.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Does anyone believe The Oil Slick?

Today, Pat The Oil Slick Riley told the media he won't swap the executive suite for the bench. His days as coach of the Heat are apparently finished.

This is tough to believe. Correction: it's impossible. Riley is the coach who cried wolf.

Not long ago, Riley put a Brutus-like knife into the back of Stan Van Gundy. After months of claiming ‘Stan was his Man’, Riley fired his friend, prodigy, and long-time assistant because he wanted to steer the star-studded Heat.

To be fair, Riley delivered. With the Hall of Famer on the sideline, the Heat won the 2006 championship.

There are too many similarities to 2006 believe Riley's recent claims, though. Erik Spoelstra is supposedly Riley’s guy -like Van Gundy in 2006. The Heat are loaded with superstars -like 2006. And expectations are huge -like 2006.

Then there’s Riley’s personality. He loves the spotlight. All year, he sat in the stands, looked into the TV cameras, and reminded everyone who runs the Heat.

Of course, Riley is the lead executive. But why sit in the stands? Why undercut Spoelstra, the coach you selected?  Why subject Spoelstra -a loyal, hardworking, and decent assistant coach- to such scrutiny?

The answer says much about Riley. And his return to the sideline can't be ruled out.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Pat Riley: Heat want to keep LeBron, Wade, and Bosh

Not long after LeBron James' Finals flameout, Miami president Pat Riley has sent word to other league execs: He's not breaking up his Big Three. That's too bad - for the rest of the NBA.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Miami Heat, according to Executive Pat Riley, do not want to break up 'The Three Kings'.

Translation: the Heat do not want to trade Chris Bosh. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were never going anywhere.

'Oli Slick' Riley knows he can’t get equal value in a trade for James or Wade. Such a thing is impossible. So such a trade isn't happening.

Love them or hate them, 'The King' and 'D-Wade' are firmly entrenched as the faces of South Beach. Basketball’s greatest villains are returning.

Bosh’s status wasn’t so certain. He struggled to find his place amongst his superstar teammates. And his more introverted, bookish personality seemed at odds with the glitz-and-glamour of James and Wade.

There were suggestions the Heat would shop Bosh in hopes of upgrading their supporting cast.

Not anymore, though. Riley saw Bosh’s true value in the playoffs. And he wants to keep his left-handed four-man.

Wanting and doing are different. Riley may have to trade Bosh because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The CBA may include a hard cap and/or salary rollback, which would force changes. Bosh, and his max contract, would likely be sacrificied, so the Heat can comply with the new cap.

Bottom line: the Heat want Bosh. But they might not be able to keep him.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jun , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

DeShawn Stevenson to LeBron: ‘We got the ring baby’

The Mavericks celebrated their NBA Championship today with a parade through the streets of Dallas and a rally at the American Airlines Center.  And despite being arrested two days ago for public intoxication, Mavs guard DeShawn Stevenson was able to make his $475 bail yesterday just in time for the party.  During the celebration, a Mavs announcer asked Stevenson if he had any final words for the Miami Heat and in particular, LeBron James: “You saw what my shirt said.  We got the ring baby!”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Restraint isn’t part of DeShawn Stevenson’s vocabulary.

Despite getting arrested for public intoxication on Tuesday, despite posting $475 bail so he could be at the Dallas Mavericks’ championship parade, the controversial swing still went after rival LeBron James.

When asked if he had any final words for the Miami Heat and James, Stevenson told Mavs’ fans: “you saw my shirt. We got the ring, baby.”

Okay, this was funny. Not so much now.

After all, Stevenson called out James and the Heat for showing a lack of class. Yet, here he is rubbing in the victory days after getting arrested.

Not exactly a shining example of sportsmanship.

To be fair, Stevenson and James have a personal and professional rivalry dating back to their time with the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Still, there’s a time, there’s a place. And today’s championship parade wasn't the time and place for Stevenson.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jun , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: I’m not ‘better than anyone’

Tuesday, James backed down from those statements and said they were misinterpreted. "Basically I was saying at the end of the day this season is over and -- with all hatred -- everyone else has to move on with their lives, good or bad. I do too," James said.

"It wasn't saying I'm superior or better than anyone else, any man or woman on this planet, I'm not. I would never ever look at myself bigger than anyone who watched our game. It may have come off wrong but that wasn't my intent."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Fair enough.

He was tired. He was upset. He was under pressure/duress. He had a hell of a year. And his Miami Heat just lost the NBA Finals.

So LeBron James said the wrong thing on Sunday night. In fact, he said the worst thing possible, challenging the haters, critics, and general public after losing the championship to the Dallas Mavericks.

Not surprisingly, there was a backlash. And James became the anti-Christ. Again.

Yesterday, was progress. James did a good job clarifying his comments about being superior. He expressed regret. He seemed sincere. He deserves credit.

Now for the bigger issue. Since ‘The Decision’ last July, James has become public enemy number one. He needs better people around him, specifically a communications or PR guy.

Other than developing a low post game, this should be James’ top priority for the summer.

--Oly Sandor.

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