Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Oct , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant isn’t mad at Michael Jordan

Bryant didn't take Jordan's comments as an insult. "It's an accurate statement," Bryant said. "I'm definitely one of the top 10 guards. It could mean two, it could mean one, it could mean four or five. I'm definitely one of the top thousand. Look, I know how he feels about me.

"There have been a lot of great guards to play the game. For me to sit here and say, 'He should have said top five,' that's disrespectful to the other guards that I've watched."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With age comes wisdom.

No doubt about it, Kobe Bryant took exception to Michael Jordan saying he was a top ten guard of all time.

After all, Bryant is the best and most successful player of his generation. And when he retires, the Black Mamba may be The Greatest of All Time.

Think Jay-Z. Think Wayne Gretzky. Think Mohammed Ali. And yes, think Michael Jordan.

Years ago, during Bryant’s more volatile days, he may have responded publicly to Jordan undervaluing his career and talent. The Lakers superstar is that competitive.

Not today.

With all the criticism Bryant has endured, Jordan`s take was like water off a duck’s back. So Bryant downplayed Jordan’s comment.

There’s no sense trading barbs through the media with an icon like MJ. This is a battle he can’t win.

Better to use his comments as motivation. Better to win a third consecutive and sixth championship. Better to let his play do the talking.

Such wisdom comes with being on the other side of thirty. And it’s something Bryant learned the hard way.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Oct , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan: I could score 100 points in NBA game today

"It's less physical and the rules have changed, obviously," said Jordan. "Based on these rules, if I had to play with my style of play, I'm pretty sure I would have fouled out or I would have been at the free throw line pretty often and I could have scored 100 points."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s still Michael Jordan.

It doesn’t matter if he’s middle-aged. It doesn’t matter if he rocks a beer gut. And it doesn’t matter if his career in the executive suite and owner’s booth is full of mistakes.

He’s still Mike; The Greatest of All-Time. I still want to be like him. You still want to be like him. Heck, we all still ‘want to be like Mike’. Or, how Mike was when he played.

When Jordan says he could drop 100 points in a present day NBA game, people believe. Six championships, playoff MVPs, and embarrassing Byron Russell will do that.

People believe because Jordan is still their hero. He’s that masked man in a Chicago Bulls uniform who can do no wrong. 

Jordan was the biggest superstar of an era.  He was bigger than any movie star, musician, and politician. The late eighties and nineties were his time.

So we overlook facts. The facts are simple: today’s players have evolved. They’re bigger. They’re faster. And – on the whole – they’re more committed to their craft.

Almost every team has a shut down guy. Almost every team will use a zone to slow an opposing player who is feeling it.

Kobe Bryant, the closest thing to Jordan, notched 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant was in a zone. He took every shot and got every call. That Raptors team was awful.
It was a perfect storm for Black Mamba to notch 100. And he still ended up 19 points short.

Still believe in Mike?

Jordan can say what he likes. That’s why we love him. However, he’d struggle to score 100 points in today’s NBA.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Oct , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Oakley ‘loves’ LeBron joining Bosh and Wade in Miami

Popular opinion may be decidedly against LeBron James and his decision to hook up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in some kind of Super Friends situation in Miami. Not Oakley.

“I love it. I think in the old days, you don’t win unless you get some right players to win with. You can say this and that about LeBron but Magic had Kareem, James Worthy, he had three or four hall of famers. Bird had three or four hall of famers. M.J. probably just had him and Scottie but when it was all said and done, you had great players around you to win.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They don’t make them like Charles Oakley anymore.

He was an original; a one of a kind tough guy at the four-spot, who handled his business on-and-off court.

No modern player would slap their ‘union brother’ to collect a gambling debt or stake out another team’s practice to confront a certain point guard about disrespecting his lady friend. (Isn’t that right Tyrone Hill and Jeff McInnis?)

That’s old school. That’s Oak’.

He also speaks the truth. For instance, LeBron James deserved criticism for how he handled free agency. The Decision was disgusting.

However, King James did not deserve criticism for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat, especially from past greats like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.

These Hall of Famers conveniently forgot about their supporting casts. Reading their condemnation of James, you’d think Larry-Legend, Magic, and Mike won all fourteen 
NBA Titles by themselves.

As Oakley points out, they had help. Lots of it.

Bird played with three Hall of Famers: Denis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. He also had Danny Ainge, Cedric Maxwell, and Bill Walton made a one season cameo as sixth-man.

Johnson teamed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the game’s all-time leading scorer. ‘Big Game’ James Worthy is in the Hall of Fame. Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, and Mychal Thompson didn’t hurt.    

This, of course, brings us to Jordan.

Jordan’s partner in crime was only Scottie Pippen, arguably the greatest wing-man in the history of pro basketball and a top fifty player of all time.

Then there was the dude with the bad hair, tattoos, and wedding dress. Dennis Rodman - despite his run on Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab - is regarded as the most prolific rebounder to ever put on a pair of high tops.

Throughout his career, ‘His Airness’ also played with useful pieces like BJ Armstrong, Bill Cartwright, Horace Grant, Steve Kerr, and John Paxson.

The Celtics, Lakers, and Bulls weren’t one-man bands. Bird, Magic, and Jordan had stacked supporting cast.

Who did James have in Cleveland?

Well, there was Candace Parker’s brother. Don’t forget Daniel Gibson –better known as Keyshia Cole’s baby daddy. Jamario Moon was once a Harlem Globetrotter.

Veterans Antwan Jamison and Shaquille O’Neal were past their prime, while Mo Williams is undersized, streaky, and 'emo-tional'.

In South Beach, he has a once-in-a-generation talent in Wade. When The King and Flash get bored, they’ll toss the ball inside to CB4.   

Credit Oakley for speaking the truth: James made a smart basketball decision by signing with Miami. And he’ll likely get rewarded with championships. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Oct , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: Miami Heat will be good defensively

Through the first few days of training camp, Dwyane Wade has been impressed with Miami's defensive potential. "I know where we're going to be good, it's going to be defensively," said Wade.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Defense wins championships. It’s a constant in the modern era of the NBA.

The great Chicago Bulls –even with all-world offensive talents like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen – won six titles in eight years because they got stops.

The San Antonio Spurs became a quasi-dynasty because Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and David Robinson took care of their own end.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers won the last three championships by playing air-tight ‘D’.

So Dwyane Wade is right: the Miami Heat will win with defense. Not star power.

Fortunately, the Heat has the makings of a strong defensive team: Wade is an above average defender; LeBron James took major steps towards being a lockdown guy in 2010; Chris Bosh was a surprisingly decent banger for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics.

If the Three Kings defend, others will follow. Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem, two blue-collar posts, will have no trouble adjusting. Shooters Eddie House and Mike Miller will do their part. Mario Chalmers, an above average defender, and Carlos Arroyo will hold their own at the one-spot.

Forget the glamour. Forget the hype. If Miami collectively commits to playing defense, they will win. History is on their side.

--Oly Sandor.

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


Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Sep , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Small market Bobcats had to waive Dampier

"We explored several trade possibilities involving Erick, but ultimately we have been unable to find a viable option that we felt made our team better," general manager Rod Higgins said. "Out of respect to Erick, we have decided to release him at this time so he may pursue opportunities with other teams prior to training camp."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They had to do it.

The Charlotte Bobcats had a dilemma with Erick Dampier: they could trade his voidable contract for a player or waive him and get under the luxury tax.

Translation: they could improve their basketball team or improve their bottom line.

In the end, Charlotte waived Dampier. After all, the Bobcats are a small market team. The area has been especially hard hit by The Recession, meaning Team Jordan is struggling to generate revenue through selling tickets and luxury suites.

Waiving Dampier allows Charlotte to get under the luxury tax. And it will play a small part in helping to stabilize one of the league’s most troubled franchises.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Sep , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Jennings on Team USA snub: It’s gotta be the shoes

It's not my call. That's on them," Jennings said. "But if you want to get technical about it and you really want to look at it, half of the guys there are Nike guys. I'm not saying it's a Nike thing, but Nike is kind of running a lot of things right now. To have a guy like myself on the USA team that's flashy and really outgoing, you don't want Under Armour to get all that [publicity]. "I'm just telling you how it is." 


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote Brooklyn legend Mars Blackmon: ‘It’s got to be the shoes’.

At least, this is the reason second year guard Brandon Jennings believes Team USA didn’t invite him to try out for the World Championship squad. Stars and Stripes were sponsored by Nike. Jennings is sponsored by Under Armour.

Jennings sees a connection. The Swoosh supposedly concocted a grand conspiracy of Oliver Stone proportion to keep Jennings – a pretty good, but hardly great table-setter - off the squad.

There’s a simpler and better answer: Jennings isn’t as good as he thinks.

Team USA had other options. Better options. For instance, the coaching staff selected Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose at point guard. Both are more advanced than Jennings. Neither wears Nike.

Off the bench, the Americans had Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, and Russell Westbrook. Curry makes Team USA because they needed outside shooting. Gordon surprised the coaching staff. And Westbrook’s energy and athleticism was irreplaceable.

Frankly, the 2010 American team won gold at the World Championship because everybody parked their egos at the door. Nobody bitched. Nobody moaned.

Would the coaches want someone who describes himself as flashy and outgoing, and believes a multinational shoe company is out to get him? Or, would they want a player who puts the team first?

There’s an easy answer. And it makes more sense than Mars Blackmon.

--Oly Sandor.

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


Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Sep , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Bobcats looking to trade Erick Dampier’s voidable contract?

Trade talks involving Bobcats center Erick Dampier are expected to increase beginning Monday. Dampier has a unique, voidable $13 million expiring contract.

A team can trade for Dampier and then waive him without having to absorb any of his salary.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Starting Monday, it’s on.

The Charlotte Bobcats - a small market, cap conscious team with dreams of heading back to the playoffs – will listen to offers for Erick Dampier. And Dampier will be in demand, just not for his on-court skill.

Beginning tomorrow, the veteran’s contract can be voided without penalty. A team could acquire him, waive him, and be off the hook for the final year of his $13 million contract.

In today’s economy, this is an in valuable asset. In fact, the Bobcats could trade him to a team looking to cut salary and get back a quality player.

Depending on the Bobcats’ finances, owner Michael Jordan could also release Dampier and re-sign him for less or release him and sign a cheaper post. This would help the team get under the luxury tax.

So Erick Dampier will be the focus of much speculation, and it’s all because of the business of basketball.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Sep , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Heat to use Wade and/or LeBron at PG

Ira Winderman: Pat Riley says Chalmers likely ready for camp, but not Butler. Hints strongly at casting Wade or LeBron at point guard.(Twitter)


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, the Miami Heat should use LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade at point guard.

After all, James and Wade are two of the NBA’s premier players, meaning the ball will mostly be in their hands to run the offense and make key decisions.

The smart money is on James actually shifting from wing to lead-guard. Now The King can score. In fact, he can score at will. However, James excels when facilitating for teammates.

James has always been more Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan. But his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, needed him to score. So he did.

In South Beach, he’ll involve others. At 6-8 and 260 pounds, he’ll have a size and strength advantage over opposing point guards, creating mismatches on both ends of the floor.  

Look for the Heat to use James and Wade at point guard. The results shouldl impress.

-Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jon Barry: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade less great together

I hate to see two great, great players -- in my mind, two of the top three in the league with he and Wade -- join up. I like seeing them go against each other. We're not going to see the greatness of each player on a nightly basis like we're accustomed to seeing. That's disappointing. But I can't blame LeBron because you're ultimately judged by the number of NBA rings on your finger, and that team is going to be one of the favorites.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s stature won’t decrease because they’re together with the Miami Heat.

If anything, it’s the opposite. Their greatness will increase.

Instead of being a one-man show, instead of making-do with sub-par co-stars, instead of bowing out prematurely in the playoffs year-after-year, James and Wade will play relevant basketball in May and June.

Great players need each other. And great players should bring out the best in each other.

Consider the past. Magic Johnson had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Larry Bird had Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. Isiah Thomas had Joe Dumars. Or vice-versa. And Tim Duncan had David Robinson.

There’s a misconception a great player is only great if he’s leading ‘His Team’. One superstar is the general with eleven other players following.

What a crock.

Even the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan, had considerable help. During their championship run, Scottie Pippen was arguably the second best player in the NBA.

Pippen is a top fifty player of all-time. He’s in the Hall of Fame. He could pass, score, rebound, and finish in the open-court. His athleticism and ability to defend all five positions made him invaluable.

Expect James and Wade to excel together. They’re friends. They engineered this situation. And they’ll bring out the greatness in each other.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Aug , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Michael Jordan’s son: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

Jordan's 19-year-old son Marcus Jordan tweeted Aug. 20 about spending $35,000 at Haze at Aria Resort & Casino. "Last night was stupid... 35K at Haze," the University of Central Florida sophomore guard said. "Totals 50K something the whole day."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ah Mike, grab hold of your son.

Marcus Jordan is underage and carrying on at a Vegas strip club like a Hilton or Lohan. He’s also bragging about playing with Daddy’s money, and the $50,000 he dropped is more than most Americans earn in a year.

Then there’s the matter of Marcus' intelligence, or his lack thereof. Jordan Jr. tweeted about his 'peeler' adventure, even though he’s underage and not making his own bank.

Obviously, Jordan Jr. lacks Jordan Sr.’s smarts. His Airness never bragged about his nights out with Charles Barkley, super models, and god only knows what else.
Clearly, Mike needs to teach Marcus this age old proverb: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Aug , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant measured by championships, not scoring

The odometer keeps rolling. Now that Kobe Bryant's turned 32, how much of a decline can we expect in his game over the next few seasons? [When Michael] Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls late in the 94-95 season -- at 32 -- he'd played only 778 NBA regular season and playoff games. By comparison, Kobe Bryant has already played a whopping 1,219 games, 57% more than Jordan at the same age. Kobe is clearly the NBA version of a Ferrari with high mileage. ... Bryant's stats have also dipped in several categories in the last five seasons: --Scoring per game: 35.4, 31.6, 28.3, 26.8, to 27.0 last season. --Free throw attempts per game: 10.2, 10.0, 9.0, 6.9, 7.4. --Minutes per game: 41.0, 40.8, 38.9, 36.1, 38.8.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: His numbers don't matter. Their numbers do.

The days of measuring Kobe Bryant's greatness by individual statistics are done. Instead, Black Mamba should be measured by championships he wins with the L.A. Lakers.

Nothing more.

The great ones, the creme de la creme of NBA talent, worry about one thing: the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Like it or not, Bryant's five championships put him on par with Magic Johnson. Another championship means he's in the conversation with Michael Jordan.

And when it's all said and done, total championships - not scoring, free throw attempts, and/or minutes - will be the real indicator of Bryant's greatness.

--Oly Sandor.

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


Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Aug , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan’s Son Blows $50K in One Day in Vegas

While the tweet disappeared fairly quickly, it was online long enough for us to get a little insight to the life of Michael Jordan's son. Marcus Jordan, a 6'3" guard for the University of Central Florida, may not have inherited his father's otherworldly talents, but the ability to burn through stacks of cash in Sin City certainly seems to be genetic. A tweet recently posted by the twenty-year-old Son of G.O.A.T. revealed that he dropped a cool $35K in a Vegas nightclub called Haze, and a total $50K over the course of the day. Here's a screenshot of the tweet:

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Aug , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kwame Brown and Michael Jordan reunite with Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats have agreed to terms on a contract with Kwame Brown. Brown will earn the league-minimum under a one-year deal that will reunite him with Michael Jordan, who drafted him first overall in Washington.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kwame and Mike together again?
Years ago, Michael Jordan selected Brown first overall for the Washington Wizards, and then traumatized the teenager from the executive suite and on-court.
Things should be somewhat different. Expectations are realistic. Brown and Jordan are both older.
However, you can't completely change your stripes. Brown remains an underachieving post. And Larry Brown, the coach, and Jordan, now Charlotte's majority owner, are both competitive and perfectionists.
So this should be an interesting storyline for the Bobcats.
--Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley on LeBron: ‘the one hour decision was a punk move’

``If Lebron is taking mental notes of everyone who is taking shots at him this summer, put me on top of your list!  I thought the one hour decision was a punk move.   I thought the dance in Miami was a punk move and I was very disappointed that he left Cleveland to join D.Wade's team."  (quote from Mike Greenberg`s ESPN morning show)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Charles Barkley, how do you really feel?

The TNT broadcaster and Hall of Fame power forward has been rather outspoken in his criticism of LeBron James. Barkley didn’t like that James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. He also didn’t like how he left.

The Round Mound of Rebound’s latest comments came in response to James tweeting that he’s taking ‘mental notes’ on all his enemies, and wants revenge.

Two points are worth noting.

First, Barkley, a former regular season MVP, is wrong to knock James for joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South beach.

James is at his best when facilitating instead of averaging 30 points per night. He’s more Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Oscar Robertson than, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. As a facilitator, he needs great players like Wade and Bosh.

At least, James will sacrifice to win. Years ago, a certain four-man’s ego forced Pippen off Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston squad, and compromised the Rockets’ chances of winning another NBA Title.

Sound familiar Chuck?

That said, there’s no excuse for how James left Cleveland. There’s no justification for him treating the folks who raised, loved, and supported him so badly.

Second, this again proves that The Decision created The Backlash. The ‘heat’ James is taking is self-induced. His tweet about ‘taking mental notes’ forced Barkley to comment.

Just like The Decision - his hour long ESPN special where he broke up with Cleveland for Miami - prompted the state of Ohio to burn his jerseys, while the rest of America named him public enemy number one.

If The Decision doesn’t happen, The Backlash doesn’t happen.

Perhaps James should take his mental notes silently. Perhaps Barkley should just be silent. Unfortunately, there’s zero chance of either happening.

--Oly Sandor.

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


Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.
Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 J.N.

Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Jeff Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.” A long time friend brought to my attention regarding this comment about Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat. I’ve caught this awhile back and needed time to ponder about such a notion. You guys do realize that in order to break the record, the team can only lose nine games, right? Count that again – 9 games. Seriously.

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Aug , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan to present Scottie Pippen to Basketball Hall of Fame

Michael Jordan will present Scottie Pippen for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Each inductee is presented by a current Hall of Famer.

"I can't think of a better person to do it," Pippen said.

"Michael is someone I shared my career with, accomplishing most of what I have accomplished thus far. He was a great teammate, teacher and admirer. I'm excited to have an opportunity to be the first person that he has presented into the Hall of Fame. I figure if anyone deserves to be on the stage with me, it's him."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah Scottie, do you really want Michael Jordan presenting you for induction?

On the one hand, Pippen's decision is perfect. He and Jordan were the NBA's greatest all-time duo. They were Batman and Robin, Riggs and Murtaugh, and Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

Together, they won six NBA championships in eight years with the Chicago Bulls. They set the single-season win mark with 72. And they were tremendous on both ends of the floor.

On the other hand, Jordan's previous appearance at the HOF offended some. For the record, I had no issue with MJ's controversial acceptance speech.

Sure, he took shots at foes like Isiah Thomas and his grade ten coach. However, that was Jordan. Always competing; never letting go of past slights.

Of course, it's Pippen's night. He can pick whoever he likes to present him. Let's hope Jordan remembers this, too.

--Oly Sandor.

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


The Charlotte Bobcats could be stuck in NBA Hell.
Thursday , Aug , 05 , 2010 J.N.

The Charlotte Bobcats could be stuck in NBA Hell.

Michael Jordan’s franchise is stuck in a perpetual motion of doom. Defensively, the Bobcats are great. Overall, they are a mess with lottery picks given away in trades. Do they want a point guard or a center? Why not try to get both? The Bobcats never had a superstar. They were hoping that Emeka Okafor would become that guy, but that did not work out. They’re stuck with a team that is somewhat formulated just like the Detroit Pistons of 2004 considering that Larry Brown is there. Unfortunately, the team is not as good as Detroit.

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Jul , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: ‘I’m never leaving’ the Chicago Bulls. ‘Never’

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has no plans of ever leaving Chicago. "I'm never [leaving]," he said, before punctuating that statement. "Never."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  The theory sounds good. Staying with one team, swearing loyalty to the city you grew up in.

Derrick Rose knows his Chicago Bulls are on the verge of contending. He also knows his stock as a superstar is rising.

Chicago is his hometown; his native turf. His comments are endearing when compared to LeBron James leaving the state that raised him, Ohio, for the Miami Heat.

Now for reality: the NBA is a cold, heartless business. Players get traded, cut, and leave as free agents.

Rose should know this. Michael Jordan – the greatest basketball player of all time and a former Bull – left Chicago for the lowly Washington Wizards.

Sure, there were circumstances. Jordan had retired from pro basketball, became a part owner/executive with the Wiz’, and then un-retired when he realized his first overall pick Kwame Brown was a bust.

Still, Athletes should avoid ‘never’. It creates problems. It limits options. It reduces leverage in negotiations.  For instance, the Bulls could ask Rose for a hometown discount in contract negotiations.

Things change quickly in the ‘what-have-you-done-for-me –lately’, win-now world of pro sports. So Rose should keep his cards a little closer to his chest.

Even if we respect the theory and Rose`s intetions. The reality of the NBA is very different.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Jul , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Magic on LeBron: I wouldn’t have played with Bird or Jordan

Add Magic Johnson's voice to fellow Hall of Famer Michael Jordan's: Neither ever thought of combining forces the way LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh did earlier this month with the Miami Heat.

"We didn't think about it 'cause that's not what we were about," Johnson said at Baruch College in New York, according to Bloomberg News. "From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan 'didn't have to think about it' because they had help.

Loads of it.

Frankly, LeBron James doesn't leave Cleveland if he has Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish, or Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, or, like Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, A.C. Green, Byron Scott, and James Worthy.

Who did James have with the Cavaliers? Anderson Varejao? Candace Parker's brother? Last year there was the old and overweight Shaquille O'Neal, who may soon be out the NBA.

Worst of all for James, this would never change because no star would come to Cleveland.

The creme de la creme of NBA prefer palm trees to Ohio winters. They prefer Malibu and South Beach to parka jackets and winter boots. They prefer major markets to blue-collar cities.

But James allowed Bird, Johnson, and Jordan to omit, alter, and twist reality with his free agent drama. The Decision' made him a target. And his spectacular failure in the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics didn't help.

Now everyone is taking shots. Only championships will silence James' critics and even that may not be enough.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Jul , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jordan on playing with Bird and Magic: ‘there’s no way’

Michael Jordan talked about the decision made by LeBron James to sign with the Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said on Sunday. "But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has finally said his piece.

Yesterday, Michael Jordan told the world he would never, ever have joined forces with fellow greats like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson because he wanted to beat them.

His feelings are fair, but unrealistic.

Jordan never had the options Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade had. After his rookie contract expired, MJ signed an eight year, $25 million contract that negated any chance of partnering with an all-time great.

And when he finally hit unrestricted free agency, Bird and Magic had both retired, so a partnership was impossible.

Jordan was also the game’s undisputed greatest player. There was no parity between superstars like today. In fact, his greatest challenge might have been from teammate, top 50 all time player, and Hall of Fame swing Scottie Pippen.

Then there’s the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old CBA allowed teams a massive advantage in signing their own free agents. For instance, Chicago inked Jordan to several one-year contracts for upwards of $30 million.

The culture of the NBA was different, too. Teams wanted to win now, and the notion of cutting cap space for three years to sign a trio of superstars was unheard of. In fact, it didn’t happen.   

Of course, Jordan has the right to say what he wants and thinks. It’s not necessarily accurate, though.

-- Oly Sandor.

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