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Saturday , Jul , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kris Humphries: My Mom is more beautiful than Kim Kardashian

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the ‘hard-hitting’ news NBA fans have been waiting for.

The cameras caught New Jersey Nets power forward Kris Humphries declaring his celebrity fiancé Kim Kardashian the second most beautiful woman in the world.

For the record, Humphries believes his mom to be the most beautiful. This sounds sweet, but such a Hallmark moment might not fly with the powers that be known as the Kardashian clan.

If Kris and Kim is your thing, click the link, watch the video, and get us with thoughts in the comment box.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard would ‘Never’ join LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, and Heat

Seems that a guy like Dwight Howard, nearly 7-feet tall and answering to "Superman," would be a perfect fit at Comic-Con, where he talked about both his budding career as a voice over actor and his basketball future. What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple ... but that's Rock's outfit." The Heat? "Never."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be like the Greasers combining forces with the Socs', or the Capulets breaking bread with the Montagues, or Paris Hilton ‘re-friending’ Kim Kardashian.

Or, like a want-to-be-superhero telling the Comic-Con masses he’d never join the villains, the bad guys, the capped-out Miami Heat.

Give Howard credit. He can charm a crowd -even if that crowd spends weekends playing D&D, Call of Duty, and comparing the old Star Wars trilogy to the new Star Wars trilogy.

However, this is bigger than Comic-Con. Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic, hate the cross-state Heat. They hate Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, known as the 'Three Kings'. And they hate arrogant Heat exec' Pat Riley.

There's little Howard can do. The NBA is locked-out. His Magic will lack the pieces, unless Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu rediscover their past form, to topple the Eastern Conference champion Heat.

Howard will opt-out of his contract next July and likely join another superstar. Perhaps something happens with the Lakers -if Jerry Buss falls out of love with Andrew Bynum. Perhaps he links up with Deron Williams and the Nets.

One thing is certain: Howard would 'never' join Miami.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Jul , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard upset Magic didn’t consult him on Arenas trade?

Howard found out when the rest of us did: once the trades were completed. Turns out, Howard had a problem with that.

“I wanted to be more part of the process a little more,” Howard said in a radio interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta. “I had to step out on the court and I wanted to make sure that the people I played with wanted to go out and play hard every night. My only issue was the fact that I didn’t really have a chance to be involved, but I think with the guys that we brought in we still have an excellent chance of winning, but we all have to be on the same page.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: How much input should a top employee get from management? Well, some –if you're an NBA superstar.
 
Dwight Howard, the All-World center for Orlando, is frustrated Magic GM Otis Smith didn't consult him before swapping Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades.

Perhaps Howard has a point. Perhaps he should have received a heads-up from Smith. After his comments, he and the team are both at fault.

Smith knows better. He knows the culture of the NBA. And he knows he must appease his superstar and make the required phone call to Howard before changing the make-up of the team.

Howard knows better, too. Phone call or not, he gains nothing by commenting publicly on a situation that is done. It sounds like he isn't pleased with his new teammates. And it sounds like he wants a say in personnel matters.

Of course, looming over Orlando like an ominous rain cloud is Howard's free agency. Next July he can opt-out of his contract, hit free agency, and sign where he likes.
 
Smith's failure to provide a supporting cast may well lead to Howard leaving Disney World and partnering with a superstar in a major market. Like Deron Williams and the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets.
 
No doubt about it, this complicates everything.

It will take years for the Magic to recover if Howard leaves. Their shiny stadium will no longer be full and, similair to when Shaquille O`Neal left for the Lakers, the Magic will become a have-not franchise.

So the supporting cast is a touchy subject.  And Howard's comments won't help.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in comment box below. 
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Saturday , Jul , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams walks-the-walk, officially signs with Turkish club

Williams tweeted the signature on his one-year contract with Besiktas late Friday night from his verified Twitter account. "Just made it official, headed to Turkey ...signed with Besiktas & @BJK_Basketbol," he wrote.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deron Williams talks-the-talk and walks-the-walk.

Two weeks ago, Williams announced he was 'taking his talent' to Turkey because of the NBA lockout. Today, Williams made it official, signing a one-year, $5 million contract with Besiktas, which includes an escape clause if the lockout is resolved.

There’s no being ‘open to’ or considering. Williams, a man of his word, is gone. But keeping his word is risky.

Suppose Williams gets injured in Turkey. The New Jersey Nets, Williams’ NBA team, could void the remaining two-years and $34 million on his contract.

Williams has to consider the long-term. Next July, he can opt-out of his contract, hit the free agent market, and sign a multi-year deal for the maximum amount available.

Of course, an injury would change everything. Teams would think twice about tendering Williams an offer, especially since the new salary cap will be less forgiving of 'bad contracts'.

Williams deserves credit for taking the initiative to play basketball. Right now, few NBA superstars can say that.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Deron Williams to play in Turkey?

Beşiktaş Cola Turka, briefly known as the team employing Allen Iverson (remember him?), has reportedly agreed to terms with another, perhaps more reliable American NBA baller. Turkey-based sports news outlet NTV Spor announced today that Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets will joining the TBL club for the 2011-12 with an out clause, should the NBA lockout end. Williams stands to earn some $16 million with Mikhail Prokhorov’s team, should a season be played.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was Europe or nothing. Europe won.

NBA owners have locked-out the players, so Deron Williams could ply his trade overseas or sit and wait for the dispute to be settled.

Not surprisingly, the star point-guard picked Europe, specifically Besiktas Cola of Turkey. Of course, this is the same club Allen Iverson recently suited up for.

Williams sees Europe as an opportunity to keep in shape, earn a salary, and play competitive basketball. If there’s an NBA season, he can opt-out and return to America.

There’s an obvious risk: injury. Williams could hurt himself while in Turkey, which would impact his career and earning power in the NBA.

Now Williams will get insurance for financial protection, but this doesn’t help the New Jersey Nets, the club that mortgaged their future to acquire him, in case of an injury.

Nevertheless, heading to Europe is Williams’ right, especially in this current environment of a lockout.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want Dwight Howard?

Williams has made no firm promises about staying in New Jersey but has said he likes the direction of the franchise under new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The 27-year-old has likewise expressed optimism about the team's scheduled move to Brooklyn starting with the 2012-13 season and his potential role in luring other top players to the Nets. The Nets, sources said, intend to make a hard push for Howard in an attempt to convince Williams to commit long term.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Collective Bargaining Agreement may change, but the NBA will always be a star’s league.

Take Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets. The soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise mortgaged the farm to acquire Williams via trade, even though he can become a free agent in July of 2012.

Right now, Williams has leverage. Before signing a long-term extension with the Nets, he wants a co-star.

Enter Dwight Howard.

The massive five-man can also opt-out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. Howard, on paper, is the perfect running mate for Williams.

The two would form a lethal inside-outside combo, capable of rivalling most eastern foes. Their star power would match Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who ply their trade with the crosstown New York Knicks.

Unfortunately, the Nets have competition. The Orlando Magic are desperate to keep their franchise face, while the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have both made plays for Howard.

Getting Howard won't be easy. So re-signing Williams won’t be easy. But both are a must for the Nets.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , May , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe Interview with Deron Williams

Recently our big brothers at CraveOnline caught up with Deron Williams at SXSW and pressed him for his thoughts on the impending lockout and the parallels he sees between the NBA and NFL's respective situations. Check out the video below and let us know what you think by dropping a comment at the bottom of the page.

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Saturday , Apr , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Unlike Nelly and Usher, Jay-Z passionate NBA owner

t only does Jigga have more Grammy Awards than any NBA owner, he’s also more involved than these “so-called” celebrity minority owners, according to Nets GM Billy King.

“I think a lot of those so-called guys that have parts of teams, they vanish,” King said. “There was one in Cleveland, what was his name? Usher. They haven’t seen him. I think Nelly in (Charlotte) – haven’t seen him. But Jay-Z, I think players see that it’s more of a passion for him, not just something he’s involved in.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s better than Nelly and Usher. We’re talking minority owners, not music.

Word is Jay-Z, who has a small stake in the New Jersey Nets, is the top celebrity owner in the NBA.  Unlike Nelly, who is linked to the Charlotte Bobcats, and Usher, who has a percentage in the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jay-Z is actively involved.

This is hardly a surprise. Jay-Z is comfortable in both the boardroom and studio.

Remember, he was a key cog for Rocafella Records and clothes, and was once the head suit for legendary music label Def Jam Records. Over time, he has amassed a personal fortune of close to $400 million.

And Jay-Z is serious about his Nets. He’s involved in recruiting free agents, the new Brooklyn stadium, and all other aspects of the team. He does far more than show-up and sit courtside.

Expect Jay-Z to be a part of the turnaround with New Jersey.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Saturday , Apr , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic to deal Howard this summer?

"I would expect a Dwight trade this summer or before the next season starts, from what I'm hearing. Rose likes his core because it's the core he has. He's not opposed to the Bulls improving it." (Ric Bucher, ESPN)

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Teams who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

So the Orlando Magic must give serious consideration to trading Dwight Howard or they risk losing another once-in-a-generation-center via free agency.

In the late nineties, Shaquille O’Neal, the Magic’s franchise face and the game’s most dominating player, left Orlando to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

As a Laker, he won three straight championships. The Magic were forced to start over.

Howard, a free agent next summer, is rumored to be looking at bigger markets. He’s been linked to those same Lakers. He’s also been linked to the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

The Magic were in the mix to keep their smiling superstar until they blinked this year and changed their roster mid-season with a pair of questionable trades.

Hedo Turkoglu has been decent; however, GM Otis Smith’s gamble on Gilbert Arenas has failed. The Hibachi is out of propane, struggling with shot knees, high expectations that come with a big-ticket contract, and low confidence.

Smith has failed to find Howard a co-star. So Howard, if he wants a championship, will likely find his own co-stars elsewhere.

Smith, despite his denials, will have to be open to a trade. Unless he wants to repeat the past and lose Howard for nothing as a free agent.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony believes Deron Williams will re-sign with Nets

Williams' contract expires after next season, and the Knicks could have the cap space to sign him. Anthony said. "I haven't seen it but he's going to be in New York too, so you'll see a lot more of that -- the competition thing. We got another Subway Series coming."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Takes one to know one.

New York Knick Carmelo Anthony is in the best position to know the future of New Jersey Net Deron Williams. Both are part of a small clique known as superstars.

And superstars do talk. They travel in the same circle, and often have inside information on fellow superstars before media, agents, or fans.

Anthony believes Williams will re-sign with the Nets next summer, meaning the Knicks may give Chauncey Billups another short-term deal or chase Chris Paul, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

However, there’s another reason Williams may stick with the Nets: the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The league’s financial system will change. The days of the superstar laden team could be over, especially if there’s a hard cap with no loopholes.

The Knicks may have no choice but to pass on adding a superstar floor leader like Williams or Paul. So 'Melo may end up being right. Just not for the reason he thinks.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Apr , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kris Humphries ‘Humpty-Dancing’ his way to Most Improved Player?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His game has improved by leaps and bounds. He’s dating a celebrity. Best of all, he’s now connected with Digital Underground’s classic ‘The Humpty Dance’. 

Can life get any better for the New Jersey Nets' Kris Humphries? Click the video below and watch the Nets’ campaign to help Hump’ win Most Improved Player. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Is Hump' this year's MIP? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Kris Humphries succeeding because of ‘Kim Kardashian Effect’?

He also just happens to be dating reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Calling it the “Kim Kardashian Effect”, many can’t help but notice the correlation between Humphries’ success this season and his recent romance. “You know, it’s interesting. Just being around her, seeing how hard she works, and everyone in her family and what they do, it’s motivating for me,” Humphries said. “I want to be the best that I can be. I wouldn’t say it’s the only reason I’ve had a great year, but it definitely factors into that.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps it’s her brilliant reality television show. Perhaps it’s her sensational musical talent. Perhaps it’s something else like her work ethic –yeah, that’s it, really.

Jokes aside, New Jersey Nets big Kris Humphries believes Kim Kardashian’s dedication to her craft, whatever that is, has had a positive influence on his basketball career.

After a so-so run with the Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors, and Dallas Mavericks, Humphries found his way with the Nets once he hooked up with the curvy celebrity.

Interestingly enough, many athletes struggle once their personal life becomes fodder for TMZ. Not Humphries, though. The opposite has occurred.
 
The 'Kim Kardashian Effect' has Humphries playing well, happy, and a possible candidate for Most Improved Player. 

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Wednesday , Mar , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jay-Z to have ’99 problems’ with Commissioner Stern?

The NBA will investigate Jay-Z’s visit with the Kentucky basketball team after Sunday’s 76-69 win against North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament East Regional Final, reports CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I’m not sure if Jay-Z still has ‘99 problems’. However, the New Jersey Nets minority owner could soon have a problem with Commissioner David Stern and NBA head office.

Word is the rapper visited the Kentucky Wildcats after their recent victory over the North Carolina Tarheels to advance to the Final Four.

This is a no-no. The Wildcats have several players tabbed to be first round draft picks, and Jay-Z, because of his affiliation with the Nets, can’t be around such blue-chip prospects.

While the incident may have been innocent, ‘The Jigga Man’ and his Nets will still be fined and receive a call from Stern or one of his deputies.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nash and Hill to follow Carter out of Phoenix?

Suns coach Alvin Gentry inserted center Marcin Gortat and swingman Jared Dudley into the starting lineup, putting Gortat into the spot of Robin Lopez, who had been groomed as a future franchise center, and Dudley in place of guard Vince Carter, who likely won't be with the Suns next season.

Gortat, 27, has received minutes and produced the numbers as if he were a starter and embraces the idea of a bigger role in the future. Sunday was his first start as a Suns center after receiving one previous start at power forward alongside Lopez.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: How the mighty have fallen.

A decade ago, Vince Carter was supposedly the next Michael Jordan. ‘It was over’ when he won the Slam Dunk Contest with the Toronto Raptors. 

Five years ago, Carter was still a perennial All-Star with the New Jersey Nets, running the break and filling the lane alongside Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd.

Today, he lost his starting spot to Jared Dudley, a very solid but hardly spectacular player for the Phoenix Suns. Carter probably won’t return to the first-five this year.

His timing couldn’t be worse.

Carter’s $15 million per annum contract isn’t guaranteed for 2012, so expect the Suns to exercise the $4 million buyout, making him a not-so desirable free agent.

Heading into training camp, center Robin Lopez was an up-and-comer for the Suns. Coach Alvin Gentry even declared him the team’s second most important player behind Steve Nash.
 
Well, it hasn’t worked out.

Lopez has struggled with his game and emotions. He was recently replaced in the starting line-up by the active Marcin Gortat, who was acquired in the same mid-season trade that brought Carter to Phoenix from the Orlando Magic.

Like Carter, Lopez`s demotion isn’t a short-term thing. Gortat is the man in the middle. For now, and for the foreseeable future.

Change has hit Phoenix. Unfortunately, Carter may not be the only aging starter jettisoned out of Arizona.

Grant Hill and Nash are in their mid-to-late thirties. Unlike Carter, both can still play; however, Phoenix has to rebuild at some point.

And trading Nash and his considerable salary would provide much-needed relief for owner Robert Sarver’s limited resources.

The once mighty Carter and Lopez have fallen. Sadly, the still mighty Hill and Nash could also go this summer.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Mar , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant on Andrew Bynum’s flagrant foul: ‘I’m proud of him’

Not all the Lakers were upset with the league's decision. "I'm proud of him," Kobe Bryant said of Bynum. "He earned his stripes."  Bynum will need to be careful the rest of the regular season if he wants to avoid further discipline. He will be automatically suspended for one game if he commits another flagrant foul, type 2, before the end of the regular season. The Lakers were hoping for leniency from the league. Bynum isn't known as a rough player with an angry demeanor.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If Andrew Bynum was worried about his flagrant foul on the Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley, he can stop.

Kobe Bryant has Bynum’s back. Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar and one of the game’s premier players, beamed like a proud parent when asked by reporters about Bynum’s foul and suspension.

Now Bryant obviously doesn’t want Beasley to get hurt. Other than that, he’s clearly thrilled with Bynum’s flagrant foul.

Consider the following: opposing teams will be hesitant to drive the lane against the Lakers; Bryant’s squad are finally playing their best with the playoffs fast approaching; Bynum is absolutely dominant in the paint.

It’s interesting to reflect on how far Bryant and Bynum have come. These two weren’t always tight.

In fact, Bynum often found himself on the wrong side of Bryant’s rage. Not long ago, the Black Mamba complained to two strangers outside a strip mall that the club didn't trade the seven-footer to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd.

Two championships have a way of changing things. With Bynum plugging the middle, the Lakers have to be favoured to win a third.

Now wonder Bryant has Bynum’s back.  

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Avery Johnson ‘really confident’ Nets will re-sign Deron Williams

Johnson on Wednesday stood by a claim he made Tuesday on the radio that there is "no doubt" the team will be able to re-sign point guard Deron Williams when he becomes a free agent. "I have no doubt and I'm really, really confident that we'll be able to re-sign him,"

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, Coach Avery Johnson is right. The New Jersey Nets will have every opportunity to re-sign Deron Williams.

The Nets will soon cross the Hudson River into a shiny new stadium in Brooklyn, New York. Owner Mikhail Phrokorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, has no issue spending his rubbles on free agent talent. And there’s already Brook Lopez in the middle.

So New Jersey/Brooklyn is about to become a desirable location.

On the other hand, Williams wants to win. And he’ll have plenty of offers from other superstars in desirable locations.

For instance, the cross-town New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire may make a run at Williams. Down south, Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic will have interest in D-Will.

While the Nets are strongly positioned to keep Williams, it’s far from a sure thing.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Mar , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy King: Deron Williams is better than Chris Paul

For months, New Jersey coveted Carmelo Anthony. "I always thought that if I got [Anthony], it would lead to my point guard," King said. "And I’ve always leaned to [Williams] a little more than the other one [Chris Paul] that people were talking about."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a debate that has raged since both entered the league as lottery picks in 2005.

Who is the better point guard: Chris Paul or Deron Williams?

New Jersey Nets Executive Billy King apparently prefers the powerful Williams over the lightning-quick Paul. Of course, King just traded for Williams, so his opinion is hardly a surprise.

He has to support his newest addition.

However, there’s a legitimate case to be made for Williams. His bigger frame doesn’t wear down and suits the flex offensive sets that Coach Jerry Sloan ran with the Utah Jazz, while Paul’s smaller frame is more susceptible to injuries.

Paul and Williams are both free agents in 2012. Both should end up in New York. One will sign with the Knicks; one will sign with the Nets.

Then the ‘CP3’ versus ‘D-Will’ debate will move to another level.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 26 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Rumor: Celtics keeping an eye on Troy Murphy?

Meanwhile, Boston will continue to monitor the buyouts going on around the league with eyes toward adding as many as two more players with its available roster spots. All eyes seem to be on Troy Murphy, the sharpshooting big man who was traded to Golden State this week and could wind up available.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: As hard as it may be, the Boston Celtics have to get over Kendrick Perkins’ departure.

Sure, Perkins was their heart-and-soul, but trading the large five-man to the Oklahoma City Thunder was prudent -especially since the club weren’t prepared to extend him to the tune of $10 million per season.

Moving on means attempting to sign free agent Troy Murphy. The veteran was recently traded to the Golden State Warriors, who will buy him out.

All it will cost is money, specifically a pro-rated portion of the veteran’s minimum. And Murphy will contribute on the glass while stretching defenses with his outside range.

In fact, he’d have a similar role to former reserve Rasheed Wallace, who was with the Celtics in 2008 and 2009.

And Murphy will be motivated. He’d didn’t fit in New Jersey and ended up getting banished from the team by Nets coach Avery Johnson.

Such a situation has to appeal to a player’s sense of pride. So signing Murphy in a few weeks may help the Celtics' players, coaches, and fans forget Perkins.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Will Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony trades force a lockout?

Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he made the move because of a "gut feeling" that he wouldn't be able to sign Williams to a long-term deal after next season. "If you look at what happened with Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland ... they all lost their marquee player and had very little if anything to show for it," Miller said. "This trade allows us to be competitive now and beyond the 2012 season."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could this be the trigger that pushes the NBA’s small market owners to demand wholesale changes to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial system?

Consider the Utah Jazz’s predicament. Their superstar and best player, Deron Williams, longed for bright lights, a big city, and a chance at a championship.

That wasn’t happening in Utah, so Williams likely informed management he was opting-out of his contract in July of 2012.

Translation: he was gone.

The Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months convincing Williams to stay. Of course, the end result wouldn’t have changed and the Jazz would’ve lost their prime asset without compensation.

Just like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Or, the Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months negotiating a trade. They’d be daily fodder for pundits and fans on-line and on-air. Maybe Conan O’Brien would get in on the act.

Just like the Denver Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony.

Neither situation was appealing, which led to the Jazz suddenly shipping Williams to the Nets for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and a pair of first round draft picks.

The Jazz did well, especially when considering Williams held all the cards, possessed all the leverage, and was hell-bent on using it. They were also lucky, though, because the Nets were willing to trade after losing out on Carmelo Anthony.

In four months, they –and the other small market owners- will get revenge. Much to the chagrin of the players, they’ll demand a hard cap, revenue sharing, and franchise player tags.

No more Anthony, Bosh, James, and Williams holding them hostage. And the looming lockout will be nasty, bitter, and long.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Feb , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Warriors acquire Troy Murphy, Buyout coming?

The Warriors and Nets are close to finalizing a multi-player trade, according to sources. Golden State will send Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright to New Jersey for Troy Murphy and a 2012 second round pick.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Wait a second. Wasn’t Troy Murphy supposed to go to the Denver Nuggets as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade?

That’s right. Anthony declined the New Jersey Nets’ overtures and is now a New York Knick.

Anyway, the Nets wasted little time sending Murphy back to his first NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

Murphy isn’t returning home for a reunion or coming full circle, though.

In a day or so, the Warriors will buyout whatever is left on his expiring contract and allow him to hit the free agent market.

Murphy will then have his choice of contenders, and the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic are all expected to show interest.

On paper, the Magic makes the most sense. Murphy can help center Dwight Howard on the glass, while stretching defenses with his three-point range –like Rashard Lewis before he got moved to the Washington Wizards.

One issue will be Murphy’s conditioning. He has only played in 18 games due to injury and a bizarre banishing by Coach Avery Johnson.

After months of frustration, the left-handed veteran will hit the court. For the first time in his nine year career, he could see playoff action, too.

However, what exactly Murphy can contribute is unknown.

--Oly Sandor.


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