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Sunday , Jul , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Paul to New York, New Jersey or Miami, not Charlotte

Chris Paul as a Charlotte Bobcat isn't crazy. I'm told it's a twinkle in the eyes of this team's decision-makers. There are a handful of places Paul would want to relocate in a trade, and Charlotte - near his suburban Winston-Salem home and possessing a Hall-of-Fame coach - should be among the viable candidates.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a nice thought. Really, it is.

Superstar gets traded to his hometown. Superstar finds mentors in a Hall of Fame coach and retired superstar turned owner. Hall of Fame coach and retired superstar turned owner take the current superstar under their wing. The current superstar then leads his hometown to greatness.

Now for reality.

Chris Paul is not leaving small market New Orleans for small market Charlotte. It doesn’t matter that the Bobcats play near his home in Winston-Salem. Or that Larry Brown, for now, runs the sideline. Or that Michael Jordan is the majority owner.

Paul is about one thing: winning. 

The Bobcats would be too similar to New Orleans. They wouldn’t generate enough revenue to pay top talent and compete for a championship in the polarized, have-have not world of the NBA.

Paul knows this, so he’ll lobby for a trade to a major market like New York, New Jersey, or Miami. If his efforts for a trade fail, he’ll play out his contract and pick his new club as an unrestricted free agent in 2012.

And that – hometown or not – won’t be Charlotte.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves signing Ridnour, sending Sessions to Bobcats?

The Timberwolves are close to signing free-agent point guard Luke Ridnour to a multiyear deal, according to league sources. The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the contract is worth $16 million over four years.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Luke Ridnour is in. Ramon Sessions is apparently out.

Reports indicate the Minnesota Timberwolves are on the verge of signing Ridnour, a veteran table-setter who'd make an ideal mentor and back-up to Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio -provided the Spaniard ever arrives in The Frozen Tundra of 'Sota.

Landing Ridnour is a solid move; however, it's surprising how quickly the Wolves soured on Sessions. One year ago he also signed a four-year, $16 million deal to serve as the club's reserve point guard.

Something changed last season. And now something else has to change before next season.

Expect Minnesota to shop Sessions, and the Charlotte Bobcats - who wisely backed out of a deal with the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon - will have interest.

After all, Charlotte executive Michael Jordan has a hole to fill at the one-spot after Ray Felton signed with the New York Knicks.

So the Ridnour signing won't be the last of the Wolves' busy off-season.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan would take ‘Kobe’ over LeBron

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s still the OG of all-time greats. And he still wields tremendous clout.

For instance, Michael Jordan, the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and the NBA’s all-time greatest player, was recently asked at his basketball camp who he’d take: Kobe Bryant or LeBron James?

His one word answer sends a hundred ten year old campers into a frenzy of epic proportion and nearly causes an adolescent, Agent Cody Banks style riot.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on Jordan’s answer to Kobe or LeBron.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jun , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan’s son on Kobe Bryant: he’s not close to my Dad

"No One ...  And I mean NO ONE should ever com par kobe Bryant to my dad an say that he is anywhere near close to my dad."


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Jordan's son - a member of Florida Central's University basketball team - was feeling sentimental because of Father's Day.

Of course, the younger Jordan is going to have his old man's back. However, he's wrong about not being able to make a comparison between the two greats.

Kobe has five championships, a gold medal, two playoff MVPs and a regular season MVP, while MJ has six championships, a gold medal, and 6 playoff MVPs to go with recognition as the game's best player during the regular season.

Sure, Bryant's numbers aren't superior to Jordan's, but - after the Lakers 2010 NBA Title - you can now have a legitimate conversation about who's better.

And while Jordan's extra championship and Defensive Player of the Year award gives him a slight edge, Bryant's career is far from over.

Got thoughts on Bryant vs. Jordan?


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Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Game-Seven Prediction: Lakers 95, Celtics 88.

The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.

Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:
The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.

Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.

This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.

The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.

Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.

Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.

Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.

Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.

That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:

1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.     

2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.

Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.

Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.

Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.

Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?  

The Michael Jordan Shadow is more epic than anyone’s existence.
Saturday , Jun , 05 , 2010 J.N.

The Michael Jordan Shadow is more epic than anyone’s existence.

Michael Jordan officially retired back in 1998. The Washington Wizards comeback does not count because there was a ghost in the shell controlling his aging body during the time. With the nth epic battle between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals and the mega 2010 Free Agent class signings shortly thereafter, one has to wonder how the MJ shadow became grand and legendary. It’s just frightening how massive this shadow has grown in the shape of a Jump Man.

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Friday , Jun , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Dan Gilbert let LeBron replace Ferry as Cleveland’s de facto GM?

Danny Ferry is out as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, choosing not to re-sign his contract that was set to expire in June. The decision comes as a surprise but was made days ago, and complicates the most important offseason in team history.

Ferry's departure Friday after five seasons occurred two weeks after the club fired coach Mike Brown following the team's second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs. It also comes as the team is making plans to try to re-sign two-time MVP LeBron James, who will be a free agent next month.


HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It's official. The inmate, LeBron James, is running the asylum -even if he has a foot out the free agent door.

Ferry's firing comes as a surprise because days ago reports indicated the retired forward and owner Dan Gilbert had essentially agreed on an extension.

Apparently, the stumbling block was authority. Ferry rightfully thought a GM needed control over basketball operations. He wasn't prepared to deal with Gilbert or James meddling in personnel decisions.

So he left.

Assistant GM Chris Grant will slide into the big chair in the executive suite. However, it remains to be seen how much authority Grant will have as the new GM.

Expect Gilbert to be very involved this summer. If James resigns, Gilbert and Grant will likely let the superstar pick the new coach and have a large say in all basketball related decisions.

This isn't the way to run a winning organization. For instance, Tim Duncan always defers to coach Gregg Popovich and executive R.C. Buford. The Los Angeles Lakers started winning when Kobe Bryant quit commenting to random fans outside of strip malls about swapping Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd and focused on basketball. And even the great Michael Jordan had little say in the happenings of the Chicago Bulls.

So Gilbert, who doesn't have James' name on a new deal, is taking a risk in re-structuring his entire organization to suit his free agent superstar.

Got thoughts on Ferry leaving the Cavaliers? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Monday , May , 31 , 2010 Elijah Abramson

Michael Jordan the hero; Kobe Bryant the anti-hero

Kobe Byrant may be better than Michael Jordan, but the public may not ever let him believe it. The unfortunate truth for Kobe is he can never be Michael because he isn't thought of as likable as Jordan, also the greatest commercial pitchman ever for an athlete. ... "Let's say he does get two more rings," Tim Legler, the former player and now an ESPN analyst, said recently in a telephone interview. "Even if he doesn't win any more MVP awards, he will probably approach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record. You absolutely can make a valid argument for Kobe being the greatest ever when that happens. "But he will never be revered like Michael Jordan will be revered," Legler added. Link HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Michael Jordan was a hero. Kobe Bryant is the anti-hero. Jordan was one of a kind; an athlete who appealed to men and women, and transcended the NBA. He parlayed that appeal and likeability into a multi-million dollar fortune from sponsors. Bryant is also unique. Fair or not, he's the villian. He's the 'bad guy' at the end of the movie, a select few cheer for, but most cheer against. It's always been this way with Bryant. His fate was sealed at seventeen when he declared himself NBA ready at a press conference, where he donned Bono-esque shades on top of his dome. Months later, he made headlines by ditching his longtime girlfriend to take Moesha/Brandy to the prom. Of course, we've all made mistakes and exercised poor judgement. Problem is, Bryant being in the public eye made himself a target. And by developing into the game's greatest player, he's become its greatest villain, too. Is Bryant the NBA's anti-hero or villain? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.  
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Sunday , May , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Bosh, James, or Wade shouldn’t get to pick Clippers’ next coach?

Usually in professional sports, the coach is selling the free agent player on his team as a potential destination. The Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to take a different approach. As the only team without a coach that doesn't appear to be looking, reports say that the Clippers are prepared to offer big-name free agents something in addition to the maximum contract: pick your own coach. That's right, the plan in Los Angeles might be to use the coaching vacancy as an additional draw to free agents like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Lebron James. They all know they will get the maximum salary, but where else can they pick their coach?


HoopsVibe Call: It's why the Clippers are the Clippers. And it's why they'll remain a league laughingstock.

Despite having talented players, coaches, and executives, Los Angeles' other team can't get their act together. Allowing star free agents like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and even Dwyane Wade to pick their next coach is another example of their lunacy.

Good organizations don't let the inmates - regardless of how talented Bosh, James, and Wade are - run the asylum. For instance, in San Antonio, Tim Duncan has always deferred to coach Gregg Popovich, which forces his teammates to listen to the veteran sideline boss.

Across town, Kobe Bryant, like it or not, follows Laker coach Phil Jackson -even though he oftens seems more like the duplicitous Machiavelli than the peaceful Zen-Master. And Michael Jordan also followed Jackson when they won six NBA Titles with the Chicago Bulls.

Having a player - regardless of how great he is - select their next coach makes that coach a subordinate. And this is a recipe for disaster. Of course, leave it to the Clippers, one of the worst organizations in pro sport, to make this blunder.

Should Bosh, James, or Wade get to pick the Clippers' next coach? Should any player get to pick his coach? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.     

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Thursday , May , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should LeBron James have a say in trades?

LeBron James has had a lot of power in Cleveland, according to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

Sources told Bucher that James vetoed trades he didn't like for the Cavaliers, while pushing other deals through that he thought would help the team.

Any team that signs LeBron will likely have to set a basis for how much power he'll have in the front office.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf never gave that type of power to Michael Jordan, so it's doubtful he'd give it to James.


After all, this creates an uncomfortable dynamic in the locker room. There's a fine line between the two-time MVP having a say in personnel matters and ushering out teammates he doesn't jive with -like former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden.
It's also a distraction. James, who again collapsed in the playoffs, should focus on basketball. Nothing else. The sooner this happens, the better off the two-time MVP and his team will be.
Finally, there's a reason Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and even Michael Jordan have/had little say in front office matters. Why should James, who hasn't yet won an NBA Title, be different?
Should James have a say in trades? Why? Why not?
2010 LEBRON Vol. Where does he go?
Friday , May , 14 , 2010 J.N.

2010 LEBRON Vol. Where does he go?

It’s official. LeBron James is a free agent. He’s up for grabs. People were waiting to exhale. Don’t exhale just yet until the first week of July. The Boston Celtics has eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers from the second round in a disastrous series.

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Monday , Apr , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Webber Talks about Michael Jordan’s Mind Games

“One time we played in Washington. We played a five game series against the Bulls. It was the year they won 72 games. We lose all three games by a total of seven points. I saw Michael Jordan come into our locker room with a cigar, while it was lit, and said, ‘Who’s going to check me tonight?’ And we looked at Calbert Cheaney and we were laughing like little school kids knowing that Calbert Cheaney was going to get him, we knew it wasn’t a game for Mike. He was going to be there and he was going to be playing like he said. Game Three we get off the bus and Juwan (Howard) is from Chicago and used to workout there. I’ll never forget, Jordan was sitting on his Ferrari and Pippen was right there and they have a cigar lit. We get off the bus and we have to pass them with a lit cigar. You want to talk about posturing? Forget Phil Jackson. You got Michael Jordan there behind the scenes smoking a cigar before the game, letting us know that he’s the Red Auerbach before the game even started. It was almost like, ‘I lit the cigar. I’m celebrating already. This is just a formality, you guys getting on the court tonight.” 


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Friday , Apr , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan Rejected Allen Iverson Signing

What Larry wants, Larry gets?

Not automatically. Sure, coach Larry Brown holds great sway in sculpting the Charlotte Bobcats’ roster. But he’s not the only voice or the most powerful one.

And he’s been told no. Case in point: Allen Iverson.

“We had a short conversation about him,’’ recalled Bobcats owner Michael Jordan of the high-talent/high-maintenance shooting guard.

Jordan said that for all of Iverson’s ability, he wasn’t the right fit on a young team still establishing an identity. Jordan expressed that to Brown, who accepted Jordan’s judgment. And they all moved on.
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Thursday , Apr , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan Congratulated Bulls on Playoff Berth

 Michael Jordan may be the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, but clearly he still holds a special place in his heart for the Chicago Bulls. 

That was evident after the Bulls clinched the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a win over his Bobcats on Wednesday night. He walked into the Bulls locker after the game and offered congratulations to some of the players and coaches. 

He bear hugged former teammate Randy Brown and gave embattled Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro a few kind words. 
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Monday , Apr , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: LeBron James WIll Win MVP Every Year Until He Retires

With more than a hint of sarcasm, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy gave his opinion on Sunday about the MVP race this season and beyond.

"You know how the vote's going to go. LeBron (James) will win the MVP every year until he retires," Van Gundy said.

Van Gundy was likely playing to the Cleveland media. But there's part of him that feels that the MVP — decided by the media — will be James' award to lose for a long time.

"LeBron has to go into the year and basically lose the MVP. You guys have decided he's the MVP," Van Gundy said.

"I don't even know if Michael Jordan was as hyped as he is, and then [James] goes out and exceeds it."

Van Gundy says that fans and media "view players primarily as scorers … and view most everything else as secondary," meaning they overlook Van Gundy's guy, Dwight Howard, the favorite to repeat as defensive player of the year.


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Saturday , Apr , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett Fined $25K for ‘Michael f*cking Jordan’ Comment

Boston forward Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 Friday by the NBA for criticizing game officials and using inappropriate language.

Garnett made the comments after the Celtics lost a 109-104 decision to Oklahoma City in Boston. He referred to a free throw discrepancy, in which Boston was 13-of-17 for the game as a team while the Thunder's Kevin Durant was 15-of-15 alone and Oklahoma City had 34 overall.

"We were playing Michael (expletive) Jordan tonight, the way he was getting the whistle," Garnett said in a post-game news conference. "Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team. That's the game." 


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Friday , Mar , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan Will Use His Name to Hype Bobcats

“Now that I have invested in this process, I assume his responsibility in terms of putting my face on this organization and obviously trying to move to the next level,” said Jordan, who will buy a home here but remain a resident of Chicago.

“I understand the expectations of the city,” he said. “I understand what they endured obviously when the team left.

“They want to win again. They want to feel good about their basketball team. I’m on board with that. I’m trying to get that feeling back here again.”

Jordan added: “I want this place to be like when we used to come to play, it was the loudest thing. You’d hear that buzzing and all that crazy stuff. I want that same feeling to come back here. And it’s going to take some time. Obviously, it starts on the basketball court. And at the same time, building that relationship back with the community. That’s what I want to do.”