Would AK-47 turn his back on Russia to rejoin the NBA? Fresh off being named the Euroleague's 2012 MVP, he is reportedly considering a return to the NBA.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: It isn't a question of if or when he will return to the NBA, but how much money it will take to get him back.
At one time Kirilenko was one of the most well rounded, efficient players in the entire league. At 6-9 and as a former 1st team All-NBA defensive player, his career averages speak to his versatility: 12.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.0 bpg, 1.4 spg all while shooting 47% from the floor, 31% from three and 76% from the line made him a rare talent and defensive nightmare for opposing teams.
AK left the US to play in Russian prior to last season . Even though he has 10 years of NBA experience under his belt, he is just 31 years old and has plenty of good run left.
Today, Kirilenko told a group of reporters what his plans for the upcoming season potentially consisted of. "I want to decide my new team before the Olympics. There are several options in the NBA, but the final choice has not been made yet."
Kirilenko also told a Russian news outlet the following, further hyping his return: "I'll continue my career in the NBA. Which club in particular, we'll know in a day or two."
Rumors are swirling that the Brooklyn Nets would have an advantage seeing as how fellow countryman Mikhail Prokhorov owns teh squad. And in some capacity, PG Deron Williams is trying to convince Kirilenko that he is the missing piece for a championship run.
But would he really accept the veteran's minimum (which is all the Nets can offer) to play in Brooklyn? Even though the new NBA trend is for veteran stars in search of a ring to take lower money in hopes of corralling a championship, it sure seems unlikely, considering the money he can get from other interested teams, most notably the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors.Read More
The Nets have reportedly entered into contract talks with their own Brook Lopez.
Hoopsvibe Very Quick Call: It's now or never for Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets deal.
Lopez, a restricted free agent, is reportedly talking to the Nets about a max deal; either 4 years for $58 million or 5 years for $78 million. The other thing to consider is that if another team puts in an offer to Lopez, he can't be part of a trade to another team. Also, if he doesn't agree to a sign and trade it would stop a deal for Howard until December 15th, because that is when players who signed with teams in the offseason can be traded.
Believe it or not, the Howard to Nets saga has been going on for about a year now. If it doesn't go down now, how awkward would it be for him to spend the season in Orlando? Speaking of awkward, if the Nets are forced to rely on their own "in-house" guy in Lopez, would that make things weird and screw up chemistry? Either way the Nets need a back-up plan in case they don't actually trade for Howard, and Lopez is it.
But how much worse would that be? Or, would it even be bad at all? We all know Lopez missed all but five games last season due to a foot injury, which is never what you want to have your big man suffer through (see Rik Smits, Yao Ming). But when healthy, Lopez has produced, with career averages of 17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.6 bpg. But obviously, Lopez is nowhere close to the defensive player Howard is, or the rebounder. But he is a solid big man.
The other question is, if the Nets do actually get Howard, are their enough basketballs to go around to keep everyone happy? Joe Johnson has to shoot a lot to be productive. Deron Williams likes to score as much as any PG in the league. Gerald Wallace likes to score. Howard needs to be the center of attention at all times, so even though he's saying he wants to go to the Nets, could he even handle being an after thought on the offensive side? How long would it take for him to complain about that?
If Dwight Howard going to the Nets has any chance of happening, it's going to have to happen NOW.
Here are your position-by-position Finals matchups.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It all starts with Lebron vs. Durant. The matchup of the year. This is the head-to-head mathup everyone wants to see.
CENTER: Kendrick Perkins vs. Udonis Haslem.
Perkis is tough as nails, but isn't much of an offesnive threat. Haslem's been battling it out with Garnett for 7 games, so it's difficult to see Perkins bing any more intimidating that KG. Plus, Haslem has a mid-range jumper he can knock down. Edge: Heat.
POWER FORWARD: Serge Ibaka vs. Shane Battier or Chris Bosh.
Ibaka has always been regarded as a shot-blocking machine and with his recent addition of consistent mid-range shooter he is a true threat on both ends of the court. The real question is whether he can continue to shoot lights out or if his 11-11 night of shooting was a fluke. Bosh is still getting his legs under him, but dropping 17 points and 3 3-pointers in game seven is only going to help. Edge: even.
SMALL FORWARD: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James.
Durant shoots the 3-pointer better than Durant, but will he be able to get the looks he needs with LeBron on him. LeBron is unstopable from 17-feet and in, but tends to settle for too many outside jumpers, instead of taking the ball to the rim. The real benefit of Durant is he is better at getting his entire team involved. LeBron's the MVP, but Durant is a better franchise player. Edge: Thunder (barely).
SHOOTING GUARD: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Dwyane Wade.
Dwayne Wade hasn't exactly been himself this playoffs. He's been putting up descent numbers, but never really taking over. Sefolosha will put the defensive clamps down on Wade, but Sefolosha lacks offensive skills Wade bring to the table. Edge: Heat.
POINT GUARD: Russell Westbrook vs. Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers is quick by normal standards and a descent shot, but Westbrook is lightening fast and a better shooter. Chalmers will have his hands full trying to keep Westbrook from penetrating at will. Edge: Thunder (By far).Read More
No matter what he does he will always be known as one of Michael Jordan’s first NBA coaches, the man who couldn’t fulfill Jordan’s potential. Even after he left the NBA’s coaching ranks and joined the broadcast booth, he still couldn’t shake the jaundiced eye of the casual NBA fan, thanks to his inability to take Jordan and those young but talented late 80’s Bulls teams to the peak of their ability.
Was the envelope frozen? Or was the crease in the upper right hand/folded corner enough for the commish to know it was the correct envelope to pick? Watching the NBA Draft this past week, and the tepid response from most fans concerning who would go number one overall, is a long way from when it was held in 1985. Back in 1985 the Draft actually mattered because Patrick Ewing was at stake.
"NBA referee Joe DeRosa has been suspended without pay for one game for throwing a ball to a fan at halftime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 18. The suspension was announced today by Ron Johnson, NBA Senior Vice President, Referee Operations.
DeRosa will miss the next game he would have been scheduled to work. The fan was not ejected from the arena as was reported previously."
HoopsVibe's Call: His form on the two-handed chest pass was excellent. However, the optics of ref Joe DeRosa dropping a 'dime'/tossing the rock at a fan were far from excellent.
Referees, especially during game two of the Eastern Conference Finals, can't lose their cool with players, coaches, and, of course, fans. But an official suspension?
Wouldn't it have been far more prudent for Commissioner David Stern and whatever lackey is currently in charge of the zebras at league head office to replace DeRosa for the rest of the playoffs?
After all, the playoffs are also crunch time for refs. And the best refs supposedly get handpicked for the Conference Finals and Finals.
Removing DeRosa from the playoffs for poor judgement would've been a symbolic and effective punishment. A one game suspension can be appealed by the referees' union and has media publications, like us, focusing on this sort of tomfoolery and not basketball.
Watch the clip below and tell us if DeRosa's two-handed chest pass warranted an actual suspension?