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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Wants Revenge on the Suns

It doesn’t matter to Kobe Bryant that three years have passed and he’s won a championship since then. He has a long memory. And just the mere mention of the Phoenix Suns brings a spark to his eyes.

The Los Angeles Lakers advanced to their third straight Western Conference finals by sweeping the Utah Jazz with a 111-96 victory on Monday night. Next up are the Phoenix Suns, whom the Lakers have beaten seven times in nine games since acquiring Pau Gasol. But that doesn’t matter to Bryant. When asked if he recalled that the Suns knocked the Lakers out of the postseason during their last two meetings in 2006 and ’07, Bryant’s eyes filled with disdain.

“What do you think? You already know,” Bryant said, staring through his questioner.
 
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Friday , May , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: We Need to Get Shaq Going

The 38-year-old O’Neal is shooting just 36.4 percent from the field (8 of 22).

“We need him to get some kind of rhythm,” LeBron James said. “We need him to get going.”

O’Neal said he’s used to being a bigger part of the offense.

“I’m used to taking 30 or 40 shots a game,” he said. “I just have to make my chippies. It’s only my sixth or seventh game back. I won’t miss them all.”

The 7-foot-1, 325-pound O’Neal missed about seven weeks with thumb surgery. His first game was Game 1 against the Bulls. 

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Friday , May , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Conspiracies about LeBron’s Elbow Abound

The Cavs themselves didn't really help matters. With a slip of the tongue, coach Mike Brown on Tuesday led reporters to believe James was about to head to the hospital for his third MRI on the mysterious injury. That alone was enough to create mild panic in greater Cleveland.

Even if the truth was that James had just one MRI, the day after he had a triple-double in the Cavs' Game 4 win over the Bulls 11 days ago, a wave of uncertainty spread.

By the time James actually gave an update on his elbow, which he was seen massaging in an attempt to alleviate pain before Monday's loss, there was some assumption that it was part of a strategy to downplay how injured he might be.

"It felt good today," James said Thursday. "It didn't flare up at all. We had contact drills and I was able to go through the whole practice and it didn't flare up one time, so that's a good sign. It's still a little bit sore, but it's much better. I did treatment the last two days and I believe it will be fine for the game."

Those treatments have included electric stimulation, ice and elevation. Not acupuncture, magnets or prayer, as some have e-mailed the Cavs to suggest.

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Report: LeBron’s Elbow Is Worse than He Admits
Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Report: LeBron’s Elbow Is Worse than He Admits

If someone were to rank celebrity body parts by media attention, LeBron's right elbow would currently fall somewhere between Kim Kardashian's ass and Megan Fox's stumpy thumbs. Unlike those other famous anatomical anomalies, however, the state of 'Bron-'Bron's 'bow is shrouded in secrecy. While the reports and MRI results suggest that it's more a boo-boo (well, a sprained elbow and bone bruise) than a fully-fledged injury, there are whispers that the situation is a little more serious for the Akron Hammer (it'll catch on) and his shooting arm.

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Dwight Howard crying over the Zebras.
Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 J.N.

Dwight Howard crying over the Zebras.

"I'm not looking to say anything to get myself in trouble with the league, but I just don't see other star players getting called for fouls the way I get them," Howard wrote. "No star player in the league is outta games the way I am."

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Tuesday , May , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: I Don’t Feel Pressure

Following the Cavaliers' Game 2 loss to Boston, LeBron James was asked if he feels the pressure from Cleveland fans given their championship drought.

"No, not exactly," replied LeBron. "It's one game. I understand that, the burden and pain Cleveland fans have. I don't feel pressure at all.

"I'm looking forward to Game 3, that's the most important game to this point."
 
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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: I’m Prepared if the Celtics Target my Elbow

Garnett is the only player whose actions caused him to miss a game when he elbowed Quentin Richardson of the Miami Heat during a flare-up.

He served his suspension, but his actions could have ramifications. The Celtics’ matchups with Cleveland are traditionally physical, with Garnett in the forefront of Boston’s tough-minded defensive approach. Will referees look to harness him faster to make sure a game does not get out of control, especially if James’s elbow is an issue?

“They’re a physical team anyways,” Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown said. “Whether the elbow’s there or not, their mind-set is to be physical coming into the series.”

Although, James said, what goes around comes around.

“That’s fine,” James said. “I know a lot of those guys have injuries, too, so I’ll be fine.” 

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The Celtics are aging and irritable, and that means they're almost guaranteed to take a shot at LeBron somewhere along the line. If you haven't noticed, though, LeBron isn't exactly the type to get bullied. It's going to be a tough, ugly series to play in, but an awful lot of fun to watch. Fans of '80s-style hoops are really going to love this one. - CYE

 

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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mark Cuban: I’m Not Proud of the NBA

Cuban spent several minutes in a small room, sitting in a chair with his head down following the loss. Finally, he emerged and wasn't happy at a TNT cameraman in the locker room who had taped Cuban with his head down in the small room. Cuban asked a Mavericks media relations person to obtain the tape.

Cuban then congratulated the Spurs and apologzied to Mavericks' fans.

"Congratulations to the Spurs. George Hill emerged as the star and really was the difference-maker. They deserve to win. They're a Texas team, so I guess I'll be rooting for them the rest of the way. I'm proud of our guys and the way they kept on fighting back," Cuban said. "I'm not so proud of the NBA.

"I'm not proud of my inability over the last 10 years to have an impact like I want to have, so I kind of feel like I owe fans an apology, but that's just the way this business goes, but congratulations to the Spurs." 

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Cubes can't be pleased his franchise has flamed out in the first round yet again. If you're keeping score at home, the Mavericks were the first one seed ever to lose to an eight in a best-of-seven series, and yesterday they became the first two seed ever to lose to a seven over a full series. Still, there's always next season. - CYE

 

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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Could Dirk Nowitzki Leave Dallas Mavericks?

But this off-season is different. This time, after 12 seasons in Dallas, Nowitzki can exercise an option in his contract and become a free agent. All season, he said he could foresee no reason why he would use that option.

But Thursday night, 31-year-old Nowitzki stopped well short of declaring himself a Maverick for life, ready to forge into an uncertain future with possibly another revamped Dallas roster.

"I wanted to obviously have a long playoff run here and go for my dream again," Nowitzki said. "And now I'm just obviously too shocked and too disappointed.

"I haven't really thought anything about my future yet. I guess I've got some time now to think about some stuff, think about my options."

Gulp. That's the sound of Mavericks fans swallowing hard at the mere thought of a future without Nowitzki. Nowitzki pointed out that he has until July to make a decision about his contract option.

But in a moment of level-headed reflection amid the disappointment, Nowitzki added: "Everything's too fresh right now. I've got some time to think about some stuff." 

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Worry not, Dallas fans: Dirk's just butt-hurt after another disappointing series. Mark Cuban will do everything he can to remind Dirk that he's a Mav at heart, and the seven-footer will be back in Dallas next season. - CYE

 

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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Tim Donaghy: Joey Crawford Is Proud of DAL Losses

Tim Donaghy, a former NBA referee and author of Personal Fouls, talked about Danny Crawford and his record officiating the Mavericks and how referees see Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Donaghy says Crawford's record officiating games with the Mavericks is suspect and that Cuban still makes the Mavericks a target.

“I write about this a lot in the book ‘Personal Foul’ that Danny was pretty much proud of the fact that what his record was while refereeing Dallas Mavericks playoff games so I don’t know that it is a streak that he wants to keep alive or what the story is with that, but I just think that it is almost humanly impossible a referee could have that record with one team during playoff games alone.”
 
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Monday , Apr , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shawn Marion: ‘I don’t see no fat lady.’

Mavericks swingman Shawn Marion did it with Phoenix against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Coach Rick Carlisle's Detroit Pistons overturned a 3-1 deficit against Orlando in the first round in 2003.

Marion insisted after Sunday's 92-89 defeat that he believes a comeback is still possible, even though history suggests that it's an extreme long shot.

Only eight teams in NBA annals, out of the 189 that have tried, have managed to win three games in a row after falling into a 3-1 deficit hole.

"I've been in this situation," Marion said. "It can be done.

"I don't see no fat lady."

Said Carlisle: "It starts with winning Game 5 [on Tuesday night]. That's the starting point." 

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Monday , Apr , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Jennings: The Hawks Were Cocky

Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings(notes) doesn’t exactly lack self-confidence, so he knows cockiness when he sees it.

And the rookie guard thinks the Atlanta Hawks came into Game 3 in Milwaukee expecting to blow out the Bucks.

Instead, Milwaukee gave its heavily favored first-round playoff rivals something to think about: a 107-89 drubbing Saturday that cut Atlanta’s series lead to 2-1. The Bucks now have a chance to even the series at home in Monday’s Game 4 before heading back to Atlanta.

“I felt like they were a little bit cocky,” Jennings said Sunday. “They came in like, ‘OK, it’s Milwaukee, we’re up 2-0.’ I mean, that’s just how I felt. I felt like they thought they were just going to come in and just blow us out. I think with the crowd, and the way we came out, it just changed everything.” 
 
Mark Cuban Hates the Spurs
Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Mark Cuban Hates the Spurs

 It's been a good week for quotes. Up to now, we've been fortunate enough to hear Joakim Noah tell anyone listening how much he thinks Cleveland sucks. Now we get to hear an owner talk about his intense dislike for an in-state rival. 

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