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Monday , Jun , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

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 Hoopsvibe

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?

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Tuesday , Jun , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why we love a Celtics-Lakers Final: was Paul Pierce faking or hurt in the game one of 2008 Finals?

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Like you, HoopsVibe News loves having the Celtics and Lakers in the NBA Finals because of the controversy. 

For instance, in 2008, you'll remember these two met, clashed, and fought for championship glory. The mighty green-and-white of Boston prevailed, in part, because of Paul Pierce's heroics in game one.

The All-Star injured his knee, but - in a moment that reminded many of Willis Reed emerging from the Madison Square Garden tunnel to lead the New York Knicks to victory on a sprained ankle - returned to lead the Celtics' comeback.

Was it really heroic?

Of course, there were doubters, especially amongst Laker-nation. They felt Pierce exaggerated the injury. They felt he wanted to set the stage for his dramatic return.

Perhaps.

Others, however, believed Pierce displayed tenacity and guts by playing through the pain. And Boston fans see it as the defining moment of his proud career.

The Truth, pun intended, may be somewhere in the middle.

Was Pierce's return in 2008 acting or heroics? Was he faking or hurt? Watch the clips below and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.  

(The case for Pierce faking!) 

(The case for Pierce having a legit injury!)

Here’s why Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker are great for New York Knicks.
Saturday , May , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Here’s why Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker are great for New York Knicks.

The two men have openly stated that they would like to play for the New York Knicks. I do not know why the New York media machine has opened their playbooks for the world to see in acquiring potential future employee number 6. While I admire their ways of applying their resources to the test for these free agents, one has to ponder that they’re probably going after the wrong guys.

Read More
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Tuesday , May , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Eddy Curry needs Suzy Orman

HoopsVibe's Call:  A $575, 000 loan at 85% interest? $30,000 a month in household expenses? $1,000 a month for cable?

With expenses like this, Eddy Curry, the New York Knicks' much maligned post, needs a financial mentor/intervention. Perhaps, late-night informercial guru Suzy Orman is available.

While it's commendable to care for family and friends after making it 'big', Curry's spending is straight out of control.

Curry - who barely played in 2009-10 and is under contract for just one more year at $10 million - must immediately change his spending patterns or he'll soon join former shoulder-shimmy star Antoine Walker, the nation of Greece, and producer Jermaine Dupri in bankruptcy.

And there's nothing worse than Uncle Sam and creditors sniffing around for your Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and mansions in the Hamptons.

Click the link courtesy of Ball Don't Lie and get the full scoop on Curry's financial woes.

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Friday , May , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The ‘Twitter’ break-up: Chris Bosh and Toronto Raptors discussing sign-and-trades

"Chris Bosh's agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he's narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told ESPN.com's Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.

The list of five teams -- Toronto plus the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks, sources said -- were given to Toronto management in case the Raptors want to construct a sign-and-trade deal (assuming he doesn't re-sign with Toronto)."
 
 
HoopsVibe's Call: Chris Bosh will not come back to the Toronto Raptors. And the NBA's sole international team shouldn't want him to come back.
 
Bosh claims to be about winning and this summer is his chance, his sole opportunity to partner with LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and win a championship. After all, The Big Three, Bosh, James, and Wade, have already admitted they'll hatch out a plan over a sitdown dinner before the July 1st deadline.
 
How can Toronto compete? Frankly, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu can't.
 
Perhaps, the Raptors would prefer to cut ties with Bosh.
 
Fair or not, the team never had much success with the lefthanded post as the franchise piece. And Toronto management must have been disappointed when Bosh recently tweeted fans asking their opinion on whether to re-sign with the Raptors or leave the only pro team he's ever played for.
 
While this wasn't exactly Gilbert Arenas flipping a coin to decide between signing with the Los Angeles Clippers or Washington Wizards in 2003, it does show a lack of professionalism. 
 
For years, Toronto has been paying Bosh max' money to lead. But max' money players don't embarrass themselves and their team by discussing their future on twitter like a second rate reality television star.
 
Toronto and Bosh should agree to part ways and focus on a sign-and-trade. This would be best for all involved, especially if it doesn't involve twitter. 

Got thoughts on Bosh's future? Get at us in the comment box below.
2010 LEBRON Vol. Where does he go?
Friday , May , 14 , 2010 J.N.

2010 LEBRON Vol. Where does he go?

It’s official. LeBron James is a free agent. He’s up for grabs. People were waiting to exhale. Don’t exhale just yet until the first week of July. The Boston Celtics has eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers from the second round in a disastrous series.

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OoB VI: So Many Sweeps, Elbowgate, Editing the Sports Guy Awards, and Barkley’s Latest Blunder
Thursday , May , 13 , 2010 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

OoB VI: So Many Sweeps, Elbowgate, Editing the Sports Guy Awards, and Barkley’s Latest Blunder

In episode VI of Out of Bounds, Marija Kero dissects LeBron's situation, edits the Sports Guy's list, recaps some draft duds and takes a friendly jab or two at Charles Barkley. There's also a cameo by Stephon Marbury's "Vaseline-eating ass". Let us know your thoughts on the topics, and ask Marija a question by leaving a comment below.

Read More
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Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Tony Parker Eyeing New York Knicks?

With Donnie Walsh in the market for a point guard, there are reports that San Antonio would consider trading Tony Parker, who lost his starting job to Hill and has told close friends he and his actress wife, Eva Longoria, would love to relocate to New York.

"Pop loves George and I could see a scenario where he would trade Tony," said a Spurs source, referring to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "Tony will be looking for a max deal and New York may pay him."

Parker, who turns 28 this week, is under contract through next season and there are several factors that could prevent a trade from  happening. With the Knicks having traded away their first-round picks for the next two years, they don't have many assets to trade unless they are willing to part with Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler, the latter of whom is recovering from offseason ankle surgery for the second time in two years. Of course, if the Knicks are willing to take on Spurs forward Richard Jefferson's salary, they would increase their chances of acquiring Parker.
 
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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Knicks Laugh When Asked if D’Antoni Practices Defense

When you talk to Suns officials they mostly have good things to say about D'Antoni. The biggest knocks I heard when I covered the Suns-Blazers series is that D'Antoni is stubborn and that he doesn't emphasize defense. We've all seen that firsthand.

Mike denies all charges even though when you ask some Knick players if they ever practice defense they'll laugh and say "are you kidding me."

This should be a powerful lesson for the Knicks and their head coach. The Suns have proven they can win without D'Antoni but D'Antoni has yet to prove he can win without the Suns. He'll get players this summer. Maybe even LeBron James will come. But it's not just about upgrading the roster. It's about D'Antoni admitting that the one fatal flaw to his system is that his teams don't defend and doing something about it.

With the money the Knicks have there is no reason why they can't hire a defensive coach. Heck, the Knicks are one of the few teams that don’t employ an advance scout. How has that worked out for them? 

link

 

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Thursday , May , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Benching Costs Nate Robinson $1 Million

Boston Celtics guard Nate Robinson was benched for two games near the end of the regular season, and it cost him $1 million, while saving the team twice that amount.

A clause in Robinson's contract calls for him to make a $1 million bonus if he both played in at least 58 games and made the playoffs this season. Robinson's Celtics are in the postseason but he played in 56 games. As a result, the Celtics saved the $1 million they would have paid Robinson -- equivalent to a quarter of his reported annual salary -- and an additional $1 million they would have owed in luxury tax to the NBA (most of which would have been distributed to teams with payrolls below the luxury tax threshold).

[...]
 
The Knicks traded Robinson to the Celtics at the deadline. He played his first game for Boston on Feb. 23. To reach 58 games played, he would have had to play in every remaining game. His playing time was sporadic, but with 10 days left, he remained on track, having played in 20 straight games. Robinson has averaged 15 minutes a game with the Celtics.
 
He missed an entire game, and a big payday, when the Celtics beat the Cavaliers on April 4. The Celtics played their starters long minutes and were also working Michael Finley -- a veteran bench scorer, like Robinson -- into the rotation. Robinson dressed but did not see action.

link

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Thursday , Apr , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brad Miller: I’m Not Going to New York

Already, stories have speculated the Rockets and Knicks will show interest.

"I'm not going to New York," Miller said flatly.

The 12-year veteran said a two-year deal with a third year player option would be ideal. The Bulls would re-sign Miller at the right price.

"This is definitely one of the teams on my small list that I'm very interested in," Miller said. "But I'm in a good situation and realistic about my worth. I'm not worried about having to chase money. I can go to the situation that's best for me.

"I've had security for a long time. I'm assuming there will be interest but you never know." 

link

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Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Danilo Gallinari: I Want LeBron James to Be a Knick

While discussing his reasons for wanting to take a break from basketball this summer, Gallinari said the two words Donnie Walsh will never use until July 1st: LeBron James

Gallinari, in an interview reported by La Stampa, had this to say about his season, the Italian national team, his desire to finish his career in Italy and, of course, LBJ.

"The vote for my season is 8 (out of 10)" said Gallinari. "I have played 81 games and I have again the pleasure to play after a season with big problems at my back and the surgery. We had too many ups and downs and without maintaining continuity is difficult to reach high goals.

"I have talked with Italian Federation President Dino Meneghin but not with the coach Simone Pianigiani. I would like to play but there are some factors to consider: my body and to be ready for the next season with Knicks. I really hope LeBron James (the best player in the League according to Gallinari) will be a Knick. But, however, it is going to be an important season for us" who finished talking about the future of his career. "My project is to finish the career in Italy with Milano".