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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Witness the Decision

I'm pretty sure I like LeBron James a lot less today than I did about two months ago. Back then, he was a player who everyone was sure could lead his team to a title and was probably the unquestioned best basketball player on Earth.

Today, he's an attention whore who wants us all to anxiously await the moment he "decides" what team he's going to suit up for next season.

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will Chris Duhon signing with Orlando Magic force Jason Williams to retire?

Free agent point guard Chris Duhon agreed to a four year, $15 million dollar contract with the Orlando Magic, his agent, Kevin Bradbury, told ESPN.com.

The 27-year-old Duhon was the starting point guard for the New York Knicks the last two seasons. He averaged 7.4 ppg and 5.6 apg last season for the Knicks.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Yesterday, a superstar arrived in The Big Apple, and a role player left.

While Amar'e Stoudemire was celebrating his five-year, $100 million contract with the New York Knicks, Chris Duhon was finalizing plans to leave Madison Square Gardens and join the Orlando Magic.

The former Duke star isn't a headline-grabbing free agent, but is a solid addition to the 2009 Eastern Conference champions.

Expect Duhon to back-up the talented but injury prone Jameer Nelson. And he'll get minutes next to Nelson when Stan Van Gundy goes small.

This situation should work. In Chicago, there were whispers Duhon liked the nightlife. Same thing in New York. Now 27, he should find his focus in sleepy Orlando.

Unfortunately, the Duhon signing means the Magic probably won't be keeping Jason Williams.

'White Chocolate' - despite posting a solid 6 points and 4 assists per game in 2010 as a reserve table-setter - will likely call it a career because he specifically came out of retirement to play for Orlando because it was close to his Florida home.

The Magic will continue tweaking their roster with other smart, low profile signings. Clearly, they want to return the NBA Finals. Except in 2011, they seem determined to win the championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Play it Safe or Gamble: Should Carmelo Anthony take Denver’s $65 million?

Nuggets all-star Carmelo Anthony is expected to take Denver's three-year, $65 million extension offer, an NBA source said, but Anthony doesn't have a timetable as he prepares for his wedding Saturday and waits to see how the Nuggets bolster their beleaguered frontcourt.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Does he play it safe or gamble?

On the one hand, Carmelo Anthony could go conservative and take the security of the Denver Nuggets' $65 million offer. After all, the the league`s financial structure is bound to change with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

So this could be the best offer he gets. His Nuggets are competitive. And Denver is a beautiful city. Add it up, and it seems an easy decision.

On the other hand, there's a case for playing out his contract, and rolling the dice on the open market. Anthony would be the prize of the 2011 free agent class, and could pick his next home.

For instance, Anthony could officially join Amar'e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks. And the Nets - if they strike out with free agents this summer - may save their cap space and chase 'Melo next July.

However, Anthony's decision won't come soon. The forward will first pressure the Nuggets to upgrade their roster.

It seems next summer's free agent drama is starting now.

-- Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jul , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New York fiasco: Stoudemire throws Anthony and Parker under the bus

Amar'e Stoudemire flew into New York yesterday, and he already is recruiting other stars around the league to join him on the Knicks. "I've talked to Carmelo Anthony to come out here, I've talked to Tony Parker," Stoudemire said last night after seeing a Broadway show. "Both those guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here, so I'm gonna see if we can work it out."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah Amare, there are problems with your plan.

First, you haven't officially signed a contract with the New York Knicks. Nothing is on paper; there's no deal. And if LeBron James suddenly decided he wanted to ink a multi-year pact with the NYC, he would get to pick the big he wanted to partner with.

So Chris Bosh or even Carlos Boozer could be in. And you could be out.

Second, say you end up with the Knicks. Well, guess what? You've broken the NBA's tampering laws because Anthony and Parker have contracts with the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs. They become free agents in July of 2011, and not July of 2010.

Perhaps, you were confused.

Fortunately, James Dolan has a relationship with Corporal Stern and the suits at league head office. He can probably smooth things over for you.

Third, you've thrown Anthony and Parker under the bus. These two may have privately expressed a desire to play in New York, but they expected these conversations to remain private and not end up in the news.

Anthony must now smooth things over with coach George Karl, Chauncey Billups, and Nugget fans, while Parker has to convince Tim Duncan, crazy coach Gregg Popovich, and the San Antonio Spurs that he's committed to winning an NBA Title in 2011.

After this, Anthony and Parker will feel they can't trust you. And if they can't trust you to keep hypothetical texts and private chats at the nightclub quiet, how can they trust you on-court as teammates? 

To be fair, you were probably excited about the possibility of signing in New York. This is understandable. The Knicks are a classic franchise. Madison Square Gardens is The Mecca of basketball. And forty-one evenings a year you'd get to rub shoulders with Spike Lee.

Now is not the time to revert to the immature antics of your past. Keep your cool. Remain a professional.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jul , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Al Jefferson to Golden State, David Lee to Minnesota, Monta Ellis to New York?

There are rumors of three-way trade discussions among Golden State, Minnesota and New York, in which Al Jefferson would be sent to the Warriors, David Lee to the Timberwolves, and Monta Ellis to the Knicks.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Good franchises make moves to improve. Bad franchises make moves for the sake of making moves.
 
So here's the question: are the Warriors, Timberwolves, and Knicks better if they go through with this trade?
 
The answer: probably not.
 
Al Jefferson would likely get lost in Golden State, playing for mad-scientist Coach Don Nelson; David Lee would post numbers and never, ever see the playoffs in The Frozen Tundra of 'Sota; and Monta Ellis would score but do little else for New York.
 
However, rumors are good for teams. It appeases their ignorant fans. It gives those fans something to chat about and distracts them from the real problems.
 
For instance, Golden State needs a new owner and coach, not Jefferson. Instead of Lee, Minnesota needs to follow Oklahoma City's model of trading veteran assets and continuing to rebuild via the draft. And New York needs to realize Amar'e Stoudemire and Ellis can't replace the dream of signing Chris Bosh and LeBron James.
 
If these three teams want out of the cellar,  they must think of real, tangible ways of getting better. And this deal doesn't do that.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below! 
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Sunday , Jul , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade to the Knicks: ‘get me one player and I’ll get you a ring’

A source with direct knowledge of the meeting said that when the Knicks told Wade they would build their team around him, he responded, "Just get me one player and I'll get you a ring."

 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: What's up with Dwyane Wade?
 
Initially, he told reporters he was staying with the Miami Heat. Then he was reportedly enamoured with the Chicago Bulls. And now he's making promises to the New York Knicks -who will need much more than two superstars to win an NBA Title.
 
There's an explanation making the rounds. And it's not good.
 
Some have speculated Wade is hyping the process for a documentary he's producing about his free agency. If true, this shows poor taste, especially when compared to fellow free agent LeBron James, who invited teams to his home in Akron instead of touring the United States like a darn rock star.
 
Wade has now met with will all suitors. No more excuses or shenanigans. It's time for a decision.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get a tus in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Amar’e Stoudemire recruiting Joe Johnson and Tony Parker to New York?

The Knicks are expected to try and pry Tony Parker away from the Spurs in order to pair him with Amar'e Stoudemire.A person close to both players told the New York Daily News that Parker and Stoudemire have talked about playing together in either New York or Miami.

"It's perfect for Tony because he wants to be in New York and he wants to play with Amar'e," said the source.


Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Amar'e Stoudemire hasn't even signed with the New York Knicks, but he's already playing recruiter.

Or he is trying to.

Reports indicate the power forward is trying to get Joe Johnson and Tony Parker to join him in the NYC. There's a hitch, though. In fact, there`s a couple.

Johnson - despite being friends with Stoudemire and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni - is considering a $119 million offer from the Atlanta Hawks, and is still listening to the Chicago Bulls.

Parker has a valid contract with the San Antonio Spurs; however, the team could be open to a trade because they have a young point guard in George Hill.

Of course, Stoudemire is also texting the big-ticket free agents: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Expect James and Wade to sign elsewhere, though.

Nevertheless, things are getting interesting with The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.

-- Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should New York be satisfied with Amar’e Stoudemire?

The New York Knicks and Amar'e Stoudemire continued to move closer to an agreement to bring the free-agent forward to Madison Square Garden next season, but sources told ESPN that the deal has yet to be struck.

A person involved in the talks told The New York Times the Knicks have offered Stoudemire a five-year, $100 million deal -- the maximum allowed -- and are waiting to talk to him in person to complete the deal, which can't be signed until July 8 at the earliest.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Hope is not a strategy.

After all, the New York Knicks and their fans spent years hoping for LeBron James. The front office cut salaries and practically encouraged losing, while fans watched a God-awful product shame their beloved Madison Square Garden.

Such a situation was tolerated because fans had hope -the hope they'd sign James this summer. Well, chances are they'll only end up with Amar'e Stoudemire.

Another second tier free agent may sign on. Maybe not.

Reports indicate Stoudemire and the Knicks are moving full speed ahead on an extension. STAT will score in bunches and entertain the NYC masses. However, the club is no closer to winning an NBA Title with him up front.

And wasn't that what the last two years were supposedly about? Weren't the Knicks losing so one day they'd win?

Well, their grand strategy looks to have failed. James probably isn’t coming; same with Dwyane Wade. 

Even with Stoudemire, the New York Knicks need a new plan for 2011. Turns out hope wasn`t enough.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Who has the better plan: Knicks’ 3 Star Plan, Nets’ Blueprint, Miami’s Super Team, or Chicago’s Business?
Friday , Jul , 02 , 2010 J.N.

Who has the better plan: Knicks’ 3 Star Plan, Nets’ Blueprint, Miami’s Super Team, or Chicago’s Business?

The sales pitch has got to be one of the toughest things to put together for any marketing team. It is one of those things that science alone cannot help them. The only way science can help is in producing the right numbers – the sweet science of money. There’s another science as well and that is the science of reproduction. Sex parties are the cure, but then again who wants herpes? That doesn’t cope well with these big name free agents doing public appearances. Even Delonte West gets clowned on and supposedly it’s just a birth mark.

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Friday , Jul , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shame on Robert Sarver: Suns wrong to replace Amar’e Stoudemire with Hakim Warrick

The Suns have agreed to terms on a four-year, $18 million deal with free agent forward Hakim Warrick, sources tell Marc Spears of Yahoo!

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's never been a mutually beneficial relationship.
 
For years, the citizens of Phoenix have backed their basketball team with unbridled passion. The Suns enjoy terrific fan support -regardless of the economy.
 
When things are good, fans fill the arena. When things are bad, fans fill the arena.
 
NBA basketball is recession proof in Phoenix because people have bought-in; long ago they made an emotional investment in the team that clearly trumps their financial investment.
 
Can Suns owner Robert Sarver say the same?
 
Sarver - who purchased the team in 2004 from a group of partners led by Arizona sports legend Jerry Colangelo - too often puts the business of basketball first. 
 
Sure, he looks like a fan, waving his giant foam hand from his court side seats or making a spectacle of himself by leaping off a trampoline to dunk a basketball at halftime. 
 
Looks can deceive.
 
Sarver would rather cut cost than win. For instance, superstar Joe Johnson was practically driven to the airport when he left the Suns for the Hawks as a free agent.
 
Then he forced management to trade promising youngsters like Rudy Fernandez and Rajon Rondo because he didn't want to pay their rookie salaries.
 
Of course, this was before the economic meltdown -the one that crippled Sarver's banking and real estate holdings.
 
This summer Sarver's penny-pinching has risen to another level.
 
First, Steve Kerr, who was finally coming into his own as GM, fled for the broadcast booth because the frugal owner stubbornly demanded he take a pay cut.
 
Second, Amar'e Stoudemire - the butter to Steve Nash's bread and primary scorer in Seven Seconds Or Less - has been nickel-and-dimed in contract negotiations. 
 
Sure, Stoudemire has flaws. He treasts defense like a contagious disease and has a Charles Barkley sized opinion of himself. However, the flashy post is perfect for Phoenix, and vice-versa.
 
Yet, here he is, on the verge of signing with Mike D'Antoni - another Sarver cast off - and the New York Knicks.
 
Third, Sarver genuinely believes he can replace Stoudemire with journeyman Hakim Warrick. This is delusional -like Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
 
Warrick is a decent player. He may even post career best numbers with Nash. Channing Frye looks to be returning. And Robin Lopez will continue developing. None can compensate for Stoudemire, though.
 
The Suns must do better to replace their four-man. The team that qualified for the Western Conference Finals deserves better. And fans deserve better, too.
 
Don't bet on it, though. Winning isn't the priority.
 
When opening night rolls around this fall, America West Arena will be sold out - as per usual. And Sarver will be sitting in his front row seats - as per usual.
 
Nothing will have changed. And the owner won't be deserving of such loyalty and support from the thousands filling his stadium.
 
-- Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Joe Johnson is close to re-signing with Atlanta Hawks

Sources close to Je Johnson have told Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski the believe the All-Star guard will soon accept a six-year, $119 million deal the Hawks offered Thursday morning. Hawks GM GM Rick Sund delivered the offer to Johnson in Los Angeles shortly after midnight Thursday.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It would be easy to criticize Joe Johnson's decision to re-sign with the dysfunctional Atlanta Hawks.
 
After all, ownership is thrifty, divided, and indifferent about building a winner. So why would 'JJ' - a guy who supposedly wants to win - re-up with the mediocre Hawks?
 
Well, his style is probably too similar to partner with fellow free agents LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, so The ATL would then be his best available option.
 
Remember, Atlanta can offer the most lucrative contract, and boasts a supporting cast of Mike Bibby, Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.
 
This is probably a better situation for the All-Star two-guard than joining a LeBron-less New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls.
 
Perhaps Johnson's best move will be the one he doesn't make.
 
Got thoughts on Johnson staying in The ATL? Well, get at O.Sandor and HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.  
The LeBron Free Agency Madness and Reporters’ Sources
Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 J.N.

The LeBron Free Agency Madness and Reporters’ Sources

People involved with the NBA and sports media are really sticking their necks and reputations on the line. I love it! Their true colors are shown. We have never witnessed anything like this before. The entire free agency arms race is 10x more explosive than the Big Network’s extravaganza about Brett Favre and his jeans. Everyone has a hard on for LeBron. Analysts on television, print, and radio are arguing against each other over speculations. Speculations? That’s another word for opinion. Get your popcorn and enjoy the freak show! I have!

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Monday , Jun , 28 , 2010 Andrew Flint

Nate Robinson flipping out in New York

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: At times, his swagger was too much. Fair or not, the New York Knicks tired of Nate Robinson showboating like a WWE wrestler. And this led to Coach Mike D'Antoni and Executive Donnie Walsh moving the combo guard at the trade deadline. To the dismay of his fans, the Sprite Slam Dunk champion toned down his act for the Boston Celtics, the defending Eastern Conference champions. However, the old Nate recently appeared at the Steve Nash charity soccer event in downtown New York. Robinson scored a beautiful goal and dropped a celebration that would make every player in the 2010 World Cup jealous. Click this link for the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.
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Monday , Jun , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Knick fans accept Johnson and Stoudemire instead of Bosh and James?

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni are seeking to arrange a meeting with Atlanta free agent Joe Johnson in Los Angeles Wednesday at midnight -- or 9 p.m. California time -- before flying to Ohio for the LeBron James' pow-wow. Even crazier, the Knicks are trying to fit in Amare' Stoudemire that evening, too, in either LA or Phoenix.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Not for a New York second.

Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire won’t satisfy hungry Knick fans who are thirsting for free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James to turn Madison Square Garden into a contender starting in October of 2010.

Consider Knick-nation’s plight: former prodigal son Stephon Marbury imploded before their very eyes; GM and coach Isiah Thomas shamed the organization with his dysfunctional ways and irresponsible spending; and for too long owner James Dolan did nothing, content to count his profits.

Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni were hired to turn things around, but - instead of immediately competing for the playoffs – they purged the roster of big ticket salaries, so they could sign James and other free agents this summer.

That decision was made years ago. And the Knicks have intentionally tanked it ever since.

Management got fans to buy-in by selling hope, specifically the hope that they’d ink James – one of the game’s greatest stars – to a multi-year contract.

Cap space alone won’t secure James’ services. The King wants to win, and rumour has it he likes the Chicago Bulls’ supporting cast of point guard Derrick Rose and big Joakim Noah better than the Knicks’ depleted roster.

Bosh, who also wants to win now, has allegedly decided to follow the two-time MVP and serve as his co-star in The Windy City.

Walsh isn’t stupid. He sees how the free agent dominoes are aligning. He gets that the club will likely have to settle for Johnson and Stoudemire.

This won’t cut it in New York, where some of the NBA’s most educated fans reside. After all, Johnson and Stoudemire are good, but Bosh and James are great.

Unless Walsh and D’Antoni deliver great this July, fans will wonder why they suffered through the pain, torture, and punishment.

Got thoughts?

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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Maverick Carter: LeBron James ‘isn’t going on a tour’

All the elaborate recruiting plans for LeBron James will have to change. James will not go on a recruiting tour, his longtime business manager Maverick Carter told ESPN.com Friday. LeBron is not going on a tour," Carter said. "He never planned to go on a tour and has not been a part of any team's plans for a recruiting trip."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The King is wisely making his suitors come to his Ohio court.

The LeBron James 24-hour news cycle hasn't helped his image. There has been a backlash because some feel the two-time MVP has milked and encouraged the headlines.

For instance, critics have argued his interview with CNN's Larry King shouldn't have aired during the NBA Finals because it took the spotlight off the league's showcase event.

Another concern was that James was going to make a spectacle of visiting each potential suitor, creating a sort of rock star inspired tour -even if he has little interest in signing with certain teams.

The good news is the New York Knicks' star-studded tour of Manhattan won't matter. Neither will the lure of South Beach. Or, the glamour of Hollywood.

James is focused on one thing: winning an NBA Title. Now to find the best place for that to happen. 

Got thoughts? 

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Thursday , Jun , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rudy Fernandez: ‘New York, that’s where I want to go’

Rudy Fernandez was telling teammates last season, " New York, that's where I want to go."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Spaniard won't end up in The Big Apple -even if he has a New York state of mind.

Two points on Rudy Fernandez and his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers. First, the energetic swing and coach Nate McMillan don't trust each other. And second, their relationship will be tough to repair.

However, the New York Knicks have little to offer Portland when compared to other teams. For instance, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly offering their lottery pick for Fernandez.

And the Vulcan group - the holding company that own, control, and, at times, micromanage the Trail Blazers - never give away assets without getting back something close to equal value.

So Fernandez shouldn't hold his breath about the NYC. It's unlikely he'll be donning a Knicks uniform anytime soon.

Got thoughts? Get at us in the comment box.          

 

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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?  

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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hornets trading Collison to the Pacers for Jones, Rush, and/or Hansbrough?

"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.

And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.

The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.

No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice 

The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.

With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.

Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.

Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.

Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.

However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.

All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.            
 
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.

Enter Indiana.

They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.

All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.

That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.      
           
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?

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Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Tom Izzo scare LeBron James from Cleveland?

Tom Izzo is apparently closer to saying yes to the Cleveland Cavaliers than previously thought, a source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Thursday.

That source discussed Izzo's future with a close confidant of Izzo, who is coaching in the NBA. The source told Katz that Izzo, who talked to his team earlier this week about his interest in the Cavaliers, is leaning toward taking the job if it is offered.

"Three weeks ago that wasn't the case, but it has changed,'' said the source.

Izzo is meeting with Cleveland to discuss the team's coaching vacancy on Thursday.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Right now, Tom Izzo is wrong for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Izzo is a great college coach. In time, he may defy the NCAA-to-pro curse and develop into a great NBA coach. With LeBron James' pending free agency, now isn't appropriate for the Cavaliers to gamble on a sideline boss who has never coached an NBA game.

Imagine James' position on July 1st when he hits free agency. Think of his choices on the bench: the New York Knicks have former Coach of the Year and Team USA assistant Mike D'Antoni; the New Jersey Nets just landed former Coach of the Year Avery Johnson; the Miami Heat - if need be - will bring Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley out of the executive suite; the Chicago Bulls recently hired defensive guru Tom Thibodeau; and the L.A. Clippers will even let James pick his coach and GM.

With these options available, why would James re-sign with Cleveland and a green Izzo? These two aren't buddies like James and University of Kentucky coach John Calipari. And Izzo, while talented, isn't Duke's Mike Krzyzkewski.

King James wants to win now. A rookie NBA coach, even one with Izzo's resume at Michigan State, may be just enough for him to leave the Cavaliers and sign elsewhere.

Will Izzo scare away LeBron? 

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Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 Elijah Abramson

Report: Kardashian and Odom expecting a baby

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: There's an oil spill causing immense damage off the Gulf Coast. The world economy is at risk because several European nations spent like Isiah Thomas when he was GM of the New York Knicks. And the Prime Minister of Japan just resigned. Now for the news that matters: Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, the two semi-celebs with cheeks like your kid brother's hamster, are reportedly having a baby. Got thoughts on what Khloe and Lamar should call their love-child?