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
Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has no plans of ever leaving Chicago. "I'm never [leaving]," he said, before punctuating that statement. "Never."
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.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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."
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.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below!
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.
"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?
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?
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.Read More
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
"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."