michael-jordan
Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Part Four
Friday , Sep , 23 , 2011 Paul Eide

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Part Four

Read parts one, two and three of this series here. In ranking these champions, I want to completely exclude their overall skill as basketball players, and focus solely on their ability to dunk the basketball. Also, I think era in which they were dunking in is very significant, as is height. With those parameters laid out, let me throw the second five names at you, in no particular order. Of these five, I will rank them by reader comments via Hoopsvibe.com, Facebook and private emails.

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Tuesday , Sep , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan fined 100K for talking state of NBA

The NBA fined Michael Jordan $100,000 for public comments he made last month about the lockout and one of the league's players, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Even Michael Jordan must keep quiet.

Jordan, perhaps the greatest player to ever grace an NBA floor, was fined for speaking about the lockout and Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut.

Of course, Jordan no longer plays. He owns the Charlotte Bobcats, one of the league’s have-not franchises that’s losing nassive sums of money.

As an owner, he’s not allowed to speak publicly about the labour strife. For this gaffe, Jordan was fined $100, 000.

Here’s the thing: His Airness needs help. Without a new collective bargaining agreement, the Bobcats won’t win games, make money, or shake off the apathy that’s killed the Charlotte market.      

So $100, 000 is nothing. It’s the cost of doing business, or the cost of stating the Bobcats’ reality.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

Derrick Rose’s Bulls is not “one player away” from winning it all.
Monday , Sep , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Derrick Rose’s Bulls is not “one player away” from winning it all.

Who said that Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls were one player away from winning the title? Anyone saying this over and over again is wrong. What makes you think this? What makes you feel this? The Bulls lack a quality shooting guard. That is true, but that does not make them just one player away. When was the last time this was said about another team? Did LeBron in Cleveland need one more player? What about Dirk’s team or Kobe when the Lakers got Pau?

 

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Friday , Aug , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan: A ‘Hard Cap’ Hypocrite?

"I can't say so much ... but I know the owners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can co-exist as partners. We need a lot of financial support throughout the league as well as revenue sharing to keep this business afloat. Jordan said small-market teams would benefit greatly from a "hard" salary cap, and it would allow clubs such as Milwaukee to plan a future on key players including the Australian centre.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
It rings hollow.

Yesterday Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said have-not markets, like Charlotte, need a hard salary cap to compete with the have markets.

Jordan is right. If the NBA wants parity, they must level the playing field with an NFL style cap and revenue sharing.

This is one part of the story, though. Owners like Jordan need to think about how they’ve run their business, and can't just tell players to sacrifice.

Can Jordan honestly say he’s done everything possible to manage the Bobcats responsibly?

The answer is no. It has to be.

Jordan, who also serves as the team’s head of basketball operations, signed off on or traded for several poor contracts.
 
There are four albatrosses currently on the roster: Matt Carroll ($4 million per annum) , Boris Diaw ($8 million per annum), DeSagana Diop ($7 million per annum), and Corey Maggette ($10 million per annum).

Tyrus Thomas has yet to reach his potential, however, that didn’t prevent Jordan from handing him a 5-year, $40 million pact last summer.

Jordan also drafted Adam Morrison, who is out of the NBA, ahead of Rudy Gay, a terrific athlete and talented scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Clearly, Jordan has overpaid players. This would be forgivable if he was working as hard as possible. This hasn’t been the case.

Before becoming majority owner, Jordan didn’t do nearly enough to manage the roster effectively or forge ties with local businesses and people.

He was often photographed partying at clubs … in Chicago, in Miami, in anywhere but Charlotte. He took time off to attend the Super Bowl.

There was little attempt to form partnerships with Charlotte area companies. And he wanted appearance fees for attending community events.

Word, of course, spread quickly. And Charlotte fans - who were burned before by the NBA and the Hornets - stayed away.

To be fair, things improved once Jordan bought majority control from former BET King Bob Johnson. He moved to Charlotte and put in the work.

Jordan still bears some blame for the Bobcats’ situation. He can't ask the players to compromise on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement without being prepared to make further changes to how he runs his team.

Right now, his stance on the hard cap is hypocritical. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Aug , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Magic Johnson: Dream Team better than Redeem Team

"When you think about the Olympics and the Dream Team, I have to throw it to you," Johnson said. "Kobe [Bryant] and them won by 22 points. Ehh, 22 points? We won by an average of 44 points. So when they want to step up to that, you tell them we'll be waiting on them."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Michael, Magic, and Larry or Kobe, LeBron, and D-Wade?

It's a tough question, however, most fans assume the 1992 'Dream Team' that cruised to gold in Barcelona, Spain was the greatest team ever.

Magic Johnson, the point guard for the first American side that allowed professionals to participate in the Olympics, has no problem saying so.

Johnson recently said that the ‘92 squad would handle the 2008 squad, known as 'Redeem Team', that captured gold at the Beijing Olympics in China.

Perhaps.

I don’t buy Johnson’s argument about point differential, though. The former Laker believes the 92 squad’s wide margin of victory solidifies their status as the greatest ever.

However, I do believe the ‘92 squad trumps the ‘08 squad because they handled a terrifically talented and inspired Croatian team in the gold medal game.

--Oly Sandor.

Dream Team or Redeem Team? Well, get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

 

Iverson vs. Jordan vs. Kobe. Vol. Dat 40 streak
Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 J.N.

Iverson vs. Jordan vs. Kobe. Vol. Dat 40 streak

The NFL lockout is over. If you’re an NBA fan, sucks to be one right now. If you’re also an NFL fan, it’s a great time. Right now, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Kobe Bryant are hamming it up in the Phillippines. The highlights of their All Star game are up on Youtube. The quality is bad since the broadcast was on a stream, but you get the gist of it. Did Kobe travel on that lob pass to Rose? Yep, he sure did. Who cares though. I didn’t.

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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson: Kobe wants to pass Jordan on all-time scoring list

But not many believed him, including Phil Jackson. When I asked the former Lakers coach last season which player Bryant wants to pass on the scoring list the most, Jackson replied without hesitation, "Michael Jordan."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Pandora’s Box known as Kobe vs. Mike is once again open, courtesy of their former coach Phil Jackson.

'Zen-Master' Phil told the L.A. Times last season that Kobe Bryant, of the Lakers, desperately wants to pass Michael Jordan, the Hall of Fame guard with the Chicago Bulls, on the league's all-time scoring list.

Bryant's reason for setting this goal is obvious: he wants his legacy to be greater than Jordan's.

Forget the all-time scoring list. One statistic proves Bryant can never top Jordan. The 'Black Mamba' has lost twice in the NBA Finals, while 'His Airness' was a perfect 6-0 in the championship series.

When the chips were on-the-line, when it mattered most, nobody was greater than Jordan. This is beyond dispute and outweighs the all-time scoring list. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

NBA 2K12 ft. Jordan, Bird, Magic. Really?
Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 J.N.

NBA 2K12 ft. Jordan, Bird, Magic. Really?

2K Sports has introduced NBA 2K12 to the world. People were questioning if Michael Jordan was going to be back. Have no fear. He’s back bringing along Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Each one has their own respective covers. It’s great to have the greats of the golden era represent the game, but it’s pathetic to know that the stars of today cannot sell the game. Terrible. Yet, 2K should not use these three figure heads to cover up weaknesses of past incarnations. That would be pathetic, too.

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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant bluffing about Europe or China?

“The one thing about basketball is it’s a global sport now, so you can play anywhere you want to.

“As far as myself, I just train. I just train and be prepared for anybody that calls, whether the NBA starts again or a team in Europe or a team here in China decides to call, then I’ll be ready…. (Kobe Bryant).

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They both have their bluffs.

Right now, the NBA is locked-out, which means owners and players are doing anything and everything to gain leverage when negotiations begin.

Take the owners. They’re crying poor and claiming incredible losses. And they’re threatening to shut-down the season unless the players accept some form of a hard cap.

Will 30 billionaires really shut-down the NBA for 2011-12? Will they kill the momentum the league gained in 2010-11?

Well, this is the owners’ bluff. This is the card Commissioner Stern, Mark Cuban, and Michael Jordan have. Of course, the players have their bluff, too.

NBA superstars, like Kobe Bryant, are threatening to take their talent abroad. Possible destinations: Europe and China. Will Bryant, who is used to first-class treatment, really ride busses, stay in second-rate hotels, and deal with mediocre facilities just to prove a point?

Well, this is the players' bluff. Bryant and his brethren are making sure the owners know they have options. Even if those options don't appear especially attractive.

--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.

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

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Monday , Jul , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Yao: Hall of Fame Player or Hall of Fame Ambassador?

“No. 1 to me, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Van Gundy said. “Idon’t care if you put him in as player, as a contributor or put him in with his own heading. This guy definitely gets in for the greatness as a player when healthy or what he did as ambassador.” He then added a thought he would repeat often.“People forget,” Van Gundy said, “just how good he was.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He goes in as an ambassador –or not at all.

It's tempting to get caught-up and proclaim Yao Ming a Hall of Fame NBA player. After all, Yao is a nice fellow. His numbers were good. And for a very short time, he was the premier center in the NBA.

A pleasant demeanour, good statistics, and a short run as 'The Man in the Middle' doesn't mean Yao deserves basketball's greatest individual honour –at least as a player.

The crème de la crème of NBA players validate themselves by championships. Rings, more than individual statistics, are the measure of greatness.

This is fair. Unlike Major League Baseball, one NBA player can greatly influence a team. So team success is the best gauge of that player's impact.

Yao never won a championship. In fact, he never won a playoff round. Not one best-of- seven series.

Some Hall of Fame greats failed to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy. Charles Barkley at least made the NBA Finals. Karl Malone and John Stockton twice met Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls in the league's June extravaganza.

Barkley, Malone, and Stockton were the best at their position for a prolonged period. For instance, Barkley and Malone were Most Valuable Players; Stockton is still the league's all-time assists leader. Yao, injury or not, has no such achievement on his resume.

The Hall of Fame is exclusive. Coaches, players, fans and journalists shouldn't have to argue that a player deserves entry. The player's career should do that.

Yet, since word of his retirement broke, coaches, players, fans, and journalists have been arguing on behalf of Yao the player.

This is the greatest indicator that Yao is not a Hall of Fame player. 

He is, however, a Hall of Fame ambassador, functioning as the bridge between the NBA and the lucrative Chinese market. There's no disputing Yao's influence on the business of basketball.

For this, Yao the ambassador should have a place at the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts -just not in the players' section.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughs? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
1984 NBA Draft: Best First Round Ever?
Sunday , Jul , 10 , 2011 Paul Eide

1984 NBA Draft: Best First Round Ever?

 

This was the last draft to be held prior to forming the NBA Draft Lottery for the following season. The picks were assigned in reverse order of how the teams had finished the previous season. The draft was actually ten rounds long, which seems excessive considering the two rounds total of this year’s draft.
 
NBA stars who can possibly reach near MJ level
Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 J.N.

NBA stars who can possibly reach near MJ level

No. This is not an attempt to compare any of these guys to Michael Jordan. Nope. That has been beaten, raped, and pillaged to hell and back. This is more of an examination of the talent today that might have a chance to reach Jordan’s status. They are obviously not him and will not surpass him either. The goal is ridiculous anyway. However, getting close to Jordan is possible. It’s not out of the question. 

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What if the 2011-2012 season is cancelled?
Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 J.N.

What if the 2011-2012 season is cancelled?

There is a possibility that this might happen. Right now, things look grim. People are trying to remain hopeful. This is not a doom piece, but I usually go about expecting the worst out of everything. That’s life because when things go right, there is nothing to complain about. With that in mind, let’s pretend that the season is done. It’s over. Now what? The last lockout back in 1998 had the NBA miss 32 games. The league lost a lot of fans. 

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There is no best player in the NBA today
Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 J.N.

There is no best player in the NBA today

We are back to what the NBA was when Michael Jordan retired for the first time in 1993. There is no true ultimate dominator in this league who is head and shoulders above everyone. Remember that time? Malone, Stockton, Olajuwon, Shaq, Kidd, Miller, Barkley, Richmond, Pippen, Payton, and more became prominent when Jordan left. As of 2011, there is no one head and shoulders above anyone. We can make arguments for a few select, but they each have flaws whether it’s getting old, shrinking up, or whatever. 

 
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Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wilt. Who is the greatest?
Sunday , Jun , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wilt. Who is the greatest?

No Boston Celtic made the final three to determine the best player according to the criteria. Cheer up Celtic fan, Magic Johnson did not make it either. Even though Kareem is bitter as hell, Wilt is resting, and Jordan is enjoying people rip on his outfits, they all have a good case to be the ultimate NBA player. Hold up. Magic and Bird did not make it despite dominating the 1980s? Yep, you got it. There was no joking around when the GOAT requirements were made.  

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Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kareem disagrees with Scottie Pippen’s view that LeBron ‘may be greatest ever’

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Scottie Pippen, what have you done?

The greatest wing-man in NBA history has started drama with his ‘LeBron may be the greatest player' ever comment.

This, of course, is great for the media. Today, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest total scorer in NBA history, wrote an open letter taking issue with Pippen's comments.

While this isn’t a caps-locked tirade ala Dan Gilbert post The Decision, Kareem’s open-letter reminds Pippen to consider what he says before saying it and to pay greater (there's that word again) homage to the league's elders.

Mr. Skyhook also has a not-so subtle reminder for Pippen at the end of the letter. Gee, think Kareem feels his great career has been underappreciated?

Read Kareem's letter and tell us if you agree or disagree in the comment box below.

Dear Scottie,

I have nothing but respect for you my friend as an athlete and knowledgeable basketball mind. But you are way off in your assessment of who is the greatest player of all time and the greatest scorer of all time. Your comments are off because of your limited perspective. You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh, by the way in 1967 and 68, Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.

Every team had the opportunity to amass a solid nucleus. Only the cream of the basketball world got to play then. So MJ has to be appraised in perspective. His incredible athletic ability, charisma and leadership on the court helped to make basketball popular around the world -- no question about that. But in terms of greatness, MJ has to take a backseat to The Stilt.

In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won eight consecutive NBA Championships. Bill's rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was eight per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell, they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.

Bill played on a total of 11 championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie, the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics. So I would advise you to do a little homework before crowning Michael or LeBron with the title of best ever. As dominant as he is, LeBron has yet to win a championship. I must say that it looks like Miami has finally put the team together that will change that circumstance. Its my hope that today’s players get a better perspective on exactly what has been done in this league in the days of yore.

Affectionately,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

 

 

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tracy McGrady: ‘Bron is a star. MJ Best ever’

Tracy McGrady: 'Bron is a star!. Huge potential. MJ best ever.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tracy McGrady knows about being a star with 'huge potential'.

Once upon a time, he was a terrific scorer for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets; however, he failed to lead either team past the first round of the playoffs.

Now he’s past his prime. Injuries have taken its toll. And he’s a problem.

For instance, McGrady led a players’ revolt in Detroit last year. And the veteran laughed when Coach John Kuester was ejected. Thankfully, his career is winding down.

His call on James is accurate, though. Right now, he can’t touch Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time. One day they may be in the same breath.

McGrady has had a mixed career, but this was one thing he got right.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: Bulls lost because of Boozer and Noah

"You can't have two of your top high-paid players sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter," Pippen said. "And that isn't just last night's game. We have seen this the whole season. So for us to think the Bulls are going to go farther when your high-priced players are not going to carry you and finish games for you ... you're not talking about a championship team.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One day after comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen went at Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

The Hall of Fame three-man blamed this duo for the Bulls loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, saying that no team wins a championship with their second and third best players on the bench during the fourth quarter.

Pippen is right. However, Noah is still young and gets a partial mulligan on his uneven play.

The real issue is Boozer. Last summer, he signed a $75 million extension to be Derrick Rose’s running mate. The four-man was expected to be a second-in-command, a co-capo if you will.

Boozer has been a disappointment. Sure, he was injured for much of the season, but the real problem is that the Bulls offense revolves around Rose.

And for the Bulls to get past Miami in 2012, they need more from Boozer. Or they’ll have to find a new second star.

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