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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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Friday , Mar , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Has David West played his last game for Hornets?

The New Orleans Hornets gutted out a 121-117 overtime victory over Utah here Thursday night, but in the process may have lost power forward David West for an extended period of time with a left knee injury.

West sustained what is being termed as “left knee trauma” on a driving slam dunk with 22.5 to go in regulation. West landed awkwardly on his left leg and his knee buckled under him. Team medical staff came out and he was eventually taken off the floor in a wheelchair.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who would’ve thought Thursday’s clash between the New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz would have everything?

There were buzzer-beaters, graceful flip-shots from ungraceful power forwards, and injuries.

Unfortunately, Emeka Okafor’s game-tying prayer off the glass and Paul Millsap’s underhand scoop were overshadowed by David West’s season ending knee injury.

West, who was 9-for-16 with 20 points, went down hard after missing a dunk attempt late in the fourth quarter. Today, reports indicate he has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs.

Fortunately, the Hornets acquired Carl Landry at the trade deadline. In the short term, the undersized Landry should replace West’s points and rebounds, and keep the club in the playoff race.

(The Hornets currently sit at seventh in the Western Conference. They have a three game edge over the ninth place Houston Rockets, with the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz hot on their trail.)

An interesting thought: has West played his last game for the Hornets?

He was expected to opt-out of his contract and hit free agency July 1st. Perhaps the uncertainty surrounding the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and an injury changes West’s plans.

The Hornets have had an ‘interesting’ year: there was Chris Paul’s off-season trade demand; the team got off to a blazing start under rookie coach Monty Williams; then there were the mid-season speed bumps; the NBA, of course, stepped in and bought the team, prompting rumors about their future in The Big Easy.

Now West, their second leading scorer, is done. What else can happen?

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Mar , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Suns running out of patience with Robin Lopez?

‘That’s probably been the biggest mystery for our team,’ coach Alvin Gentry said when asked why Lopez’s progression has stopped. ‘In actuality, we really thought that he would probably be the second-most-important guy on our team, especially if he took a big leap. I’m not real sure if it’s the injury or what, but he hasn’t been able to give us the consistent play that we thought we’d be able to get from him. We could use it. It’s something that has hurt us a bit. We haven’t really had much inside play. Gortat gives us some. Other than that, we’ve been pretty much resigned to the fact that we’re a perimeter team. That hurts you when you’re going to rely on jump shots night in and night out, even as good of a shooting team as we are.’”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Robin Lopez, for the most part, has been an enigma for the Phoenix Suns.

He has the skill-set to be a solid player; however, his emotions and lack of confidence continue to hold him back.

Coach Alvin Gentry’s recent comments show that the Suns are finally running out of patience. Fortunately, they have a solution on the roster in Marcin Gortat.

The Polish post, acquired from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, does the things Lopez either can’t or won’t.

Gortat is active, physical, and productive. If this continues, he’ll replace Lopez in the Suns’ starting line-up.

And it can’t be soon enough. After all, the Suns, who sit at 10th in the Western Conference, are on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

So everybody must play their best. The Suns have no time for an enigma.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Monday , Mar , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Charge or Block? Should Blake Griffin’s dunk on Marcin Gortat have counted?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What a waste of a poster job!

Yesterday, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin caught the ball off a pick-and-roll, elevated, and dunked on the Phoenix Suns’ Gortat, who, to his credit, was bravely providing help defense.

Hold off on the youtube clip.

The referees believed Gortat was set, so they called a charging foul on Griffin. The infraction was the Rookie of the Year candidate’s sixth, meaning he had fouled out the game.

Worst of all, it negated a facial of epic proportion.

To be fair, the play happened quickly; however, the zebras in black-and white missed that Gortat’s feet were inside the circle.

Translation: Gortat should’ve been called for a block, and Griffin’s highlight reel jam should’ve counted.

What do you think? Charge or block? Watch the clip and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts!   
 

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 26 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Steve Nash on the Suns trading him: ‘I’m open to that’

And though it seemed logical that a team ripe for a rebuild might trade the most valuable player on the roster, the Suns didn’t budge through this week’s trade deadline, and Nash didn’t ask. But yesterday, Nash opened the door, just a crack, to leaving. “I’m open to whatever they want to do,” he said. “I mean, if they want to move me, I’m open to that. If they want to keep me, I’m open to that too.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the elephant in the room neither side wants to discuss.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have to consider parting ways. After all, Nash, who is still playing remarkably well, could help a contender, while the Suns, who lack the resources to field a winner, need to rebuild.

Trading Nash would give the tiny table setter his chance at a championship, and also give the Suns some combination of draft picks, expiring contracts, and blue chip prospects for the future.

If only it were so easy. Both player and team are reluctant to push for a trade.

Nash is loyal to Phoenix, its fans, and the Suns organization. Suns owner Robert Sarver, who is already on shaky ground for past moves, knows he’d become persona non grata if he wrapped Nash in a bow and gave him away.

So each side is putting out the feelers; dropping little hints to prepare the public.

Something could happen this summer. And the elephant in the room could become a reality.

--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Feb , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves want Nash?

The Timberwolves are one of the teams that have called the Suns to check on the availability of Steve Nash, reports Marc Stein.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Should Minnesota Timberwolves fans laugh or cry after hearing Executive David Kahn tried to trade for the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash?

After all, Nash isn’t a fit for the Wolves. And the Wolves aren’t a fit for Nash. These two would be the worst match since Anna Nicole Smith married that old billionaire.

Nash is 37 years old. The two-time MVP has a limited time horizon, and will only leave the warmth of Phoenix for a contender. Not a good playoff team, but a class organization with legitimate championship aspirations.

Class and championships are words one doesn’t associate with Glen Taylor’s Wolves. And Nash may retire rather than suit up for the rebuilding Wolves.

This would actually be a positive for the Wolves, who must develop Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio -whenever the Euro sensation crosses the Atlantic for America.

Kahn doesn’t see it that way, though. Perhaps he’s inquiring about Nash and Anthony to prove to pending free agent Kevin Love he’s serious about upgrading the team’s talent.

However, Kahn has no chance at either superstar. And his failures only reinforce the Wolves’ inadequacies.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Bill Duffy: Suns will consider trading Steve Nash this summer

"Steve is a Phoenix Sun and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he's the face of that franchise," Bill Duffy, Nash's longtime agent, told ESPN.com this week. "But logic dictates that it would be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer, so we would expect that they may entertain moving him during the summer. We are ready for that and we anticipate a very respectful process if they decide to look at starting over with a younger core."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The game has begun.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns won’t admit it, but both player and team are looking to part ways. They’d be negligent not to.

After all, Nash –despite being one of the game’s fittest players- is getting older and wants a chance at a championship, while the Suns need to rebuild with younger assets.

Nash moving on makes sense for all parties. How Nash moves on is far more complicated.

For instance, Nash won’t request a trade. He’s too loyal and fearful of a backlash. In fact, last week he told ESPN’s Marc Stein he’s too ‘old school’ to ask the Suns to deal him.

Meanwhile, the Suns will never admit to shopping Nash. The tiny table-setter is a two-time MVP and beloved figure around Phoenix.

Conversely, Suns’ owner Robert Sarver has taken his fair share of hits and can’t afford to look like the bad guy with Nash. He and Coach Alvin Gentry will deny, deny, deny when reporters ask about the rumors of a Nash swap.

It’s also no coincidence that Stein reported these comments from Nash’s agent. Clearly, Nash and Stein have a relationship.

I am not suggesting Nash or Stein, one of the best in the business, have engaged in questionable or unethical behaviour. I am only suggesting that Nash trusts Stein to break news in a fair, equitable manner. This is the mark of a good reporter.

For instance, two years ago, Nash held his charity basketball game in my home of Vancouver, Canada. I covered the event, as did Stein –even though, it was during the dog days of summer and there were no real scoops or major news to be had.

Perhaps Nash asked Stein to attend what was essentially a glorified pick-up game for a good cause. Perhaps Stein agreed to go because he knew he would further his relationship with the Nash machine.

I don’t know much else about their relationship. What I do know is that these comments from Nash’s agent are a cautious attempt to test the trade waters. They felt comfortable that Stein would report their feelings in a responsible manner.

So the game has begun. The next move belongs to the Suns.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash on staying in Phoenix: ‘I’m old school’

Nash insisted again this week, as he lunched on five-bean soup and the healthiest of chopped salads at one of his go-to temples for food purity, that he won't be lobbying Suns owner Robert Sarver and new team president Lon Babby to send him to a contender. 

"Maybe I'm old school," Nash said, "but I signed a contract to play here and I want to honor it. I feel like I owe it to my teammates and the city and everybody to keep battling until they tell me it's time to go."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s forever the good soldier.

After all, how easy would it be for Steve Nash to walk into Robert Sarver’s office and demand a trade?

Nash is a beloved two-time MVP and a future member of the Hall of Fame. Sarver is the despised owner of the Phoenix Suns, who puts profits before championships.

Nash is right: he’s old school. He’s also loyal to teammates, Phoenix, and, most importantly, his values, which means he plays out the last year and a half of the contract he signed.

It doesn’t matter that Sarver failed to keep superstar Amar’e Stoudemire and executive Steve Kerr. And it doesn’t matter that Sarver lacks the resources to build a winner.

For Nash, a deal is a deal. So he’s a Sun until July of 2012.

Sixteen months from now, Nash’s contract will expire. With his fitness regime and basketball IQ, the tiny table-setter will be in demand.  Look for Nash and his people to quickly sign with a contender

Nash, forever the good soldier and team-first point-guard, can finally think about himself.

--Oly Sandor.

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Is Vince Carter Done?
Saturday , Feb , 05 , 2011 Paul Eide

Is Vince Carter Done?

With just about two weeks left before the NBA All Star Game the highlights of Vince Carter dominating the 2000 Slam Dunk contest are beginning to circulate in ever increasing frequency. Carter literally introduced the world to dunks most people had never seen before and did it with a fire and passion that has never been matched by any subsequent dunk contest contestant.
 

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Saturday , Jan , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley: the Knicks can’t win playing D’Antoni’s system

"I do not think (the Knicks) can win with that system. I saw it in Phoenix. And let me tell you something, they had a lot more talent in Phoenix. A lot more. Let me just tell you this -- the three most critical areas of the game are defense, rebounding and turnovers. That's one of the fundamental flaws of that system."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA won’t like it. New York won’t like it. And the legions of Charles Barkley haters certainly won’t like it.

But ‘The Round Mound of Rebound’ is absolutely right: the Knicks can’t possibly win the NBA Title playing Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ system.

After all, defence wins championships. Shot-happy, entertaining basketball does not.

Consider that the Los Angeles Lakers have won consecutive championships playing air-tight defence. Same with the Boston Celtics, last year’s Eastern Conference champion.

Getting stops has been the key to the start-studded Miami Heat turning around their season. While the league-leading San Antonio Spurs are playing a more up-tempo brand of basketball, they still hold their own defensively.

How can the Knicks buck the trend? Especially since the Phoenix Suns, D’Antoni’s previous team, were never able to break through and win a championship with this brand of fire-wagon basketball.

Simply put, they can’t. Sure, the Knicks can win 50 games. Sure, the Knicks can win the Atlantic Division Title. And sure, they can make some noise in the playoffs.

However, they can’t win it with a run-and-gun style. Eventually, New York will realize this. When they do, D’Antoni -turnaround or not- will be expendable.

--Oly Sandor.
 
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Friday , Dec , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jason Richardson: ‘The trade didn’t catch me off guard’

"The trade didn't catch me off guard at all. I knew when they wouldn't talk about an extension that I wasn't going to be there the whole season,'' Richardson said before the Magic played the San Antonio Spurs. "They wouldn't even sit down and talk to us. I kind of figured when they were dodging calls from my agent, something was going to happen.''

Richardson, who is making $14 million this season, was pushing hard for the extension in Phoenix, preferring to avoid free agency this summer. He was riding a strong playoff performance last spring and a fast start this season, knowing his stock would never be higher.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Such is life with the Phoenix Suns and Robert Sarver.

Sarver is the thrifty owner of the Suns. And he’s become even more of an Uncle Scrooge since his banking and real estate holding were decimated by the economic meltdown.

Most of the Suns’ movable big tickets –like Richardson’s expiring $14 million contract – get moved.

Richardson, despite being the team’s leading scorer, wasn’t getting re-signed. Especially since the trade with Orlando allowed the club to escape the final three years and $35 million remaining on Hedo Turkoglu’s pact. 

Credit the Suns, who were dealing from a position of weakness, for getting back value from Orlando. For instance, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus are talented two-way players.

Gortat and second-year post Robin Lopez will form a nice one-two punch in the middle, while Pietrus and veteran Grant Hill give the Suns a pair of shutdown swings.

It’s no surprise Richardson was traded. It’s a surprise the Suns got so much for him.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Dec , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic to trade Redick or Richardson for a center?

"We'll still find ways to get better in some spots," Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith said. "Losing the backup center is big. So, you need a little size for about probably five teams. That's really what it comes down to, so we'll probably address that over the next month or so."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The wheeling-and-dealing will continue.

On Saturday, the Orlando Magic overhauled their roster in separate trades with the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards.

The Magic dealt Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Mickael Pietrus to the Suns for Earl Clark, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu. Then they sent Rashard Lewis to the Wizards for Gilbert Arenas.

The Magic improved on the wing, but – after dealing Gortat – need a five-man to relieve superstar Dwight Howard.

Howard, despite winning The Defensive Player of the Year award, is prone to foul trouble. Things were so bad last year teammates nicknamed him ‘Foul On You’.

The Magic need a reserve center to bail Howard out when he's overzealous in the paint. A back-up for Howard will also help them compete with bigger contenders like the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Fortunately, the Magic have spare assets. Acquiring Arenas, Richardson, and Turkoglu has made wings J.J. Redick and ‘Q’ Richardson expendable.

A market exists for Redick, even though he’s having an off year and is on the books for an additional two seasons at a combined $12 million.

Richardson can defend and hit the three. Best of all, the veteran is signed through 2014 at a reasonable $2.5 million per annum.

Last weekend was just the beginning for the Magic. More moves are coming. If they’re serious about a championship, they’ll trade a wing for a post.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Dec , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Suns now trading Childress and Nash?

Josh Childress does not regret one bit signing this summer with the Suns, who are overloaded with wing players, even though he has been removed from the rotation.

As for his decision to play through a right index finger fracture with a splint, that is different.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Josh Childress next? What about Steve Nash?

No player is safe in the cut-cost world of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver. Sarver, who was never the most generous of owners, has had his real estate and banking empire decimated by the economic recession.

Every player is expendable -especially those with long-term and expensive contracts.

Expect the Suns to shop Childress. Since returning from Europe, the Stanford alum hasn’t distinguished himself as a regular contributor off Alvin Gentry’s bench. Then he got injured and will miss several weeks.

Team and player are disappointed. Fair enough. However, the season is barely two months old and cutting ties would seem premature.

After all, Childress is versatile, smart, and talented. Given time, he’d figure things out and become a valuable reserve and spot starter –even for a team loaded on the wing like the Suns.

Money matters for Sarver and the Suns. In fact, the bottom line is everything. So they’re looking to get Childress’ multi-year deal for mid level money off their books.

The sooner, the better.

Moving Nash would be trickier. He’s revered in Phoenix. His contract is reasonable. Trading the two-time MVP would signal to fans that Sarver has thrown in the towel.

However, Father Time will eventually catch Kid Canada. It has to. And he may not want to waste his time with a team that has zero interest in winning.

So the Suns and Nash may part. And like everything with Sarver, money will be the root of the problem.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

 


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Sunday , Dec , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e Stoudemire and Ray Felton saving New York Knicks

After a difficult start to the 10-11 season, Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton took control of the Knicks' locker room and the team responded with a five-game winning streak.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talent matters. So does chemistry.

For instance, the New York Knicks once spent a fortune amassing a roster of fantasy players. These players were individually talented, but never made those around them better.

Stephon Marbury was worried about his brand. Zach Randolph was worried about his statistics, while Eddy Curry was worried about, well, something other than basketball.

Other Knicks were also guilty of me-disease. They played basketball like it was an individual sport. The four other guys wearing the same uniform were a nuisance to achieving their goal.

Much of this goes back to the Isiah Thomas era. Zeke’s get-mine approach in the executive suite trickled directly down to the players.

It has taken years to rid Madison Square Gardens of this dysfunction. Now the Knicks are flying high, though. They’re playing team-first basketball. They’ve won 8 of 9.

Their recent success is due to the leadership of two players: Ray Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Not long ago, the Knicks were struggling. They weren’t together. They were disjointed. And they were 3-9.

The media was circling. Executive Donnie Walsh and Coach Mike D’Antoni were on shaky ground. And Stoudemire, who signed a $100 million free agent contract this summer, seemed like a mistake.

Felton and Stoudemire stepped up on-and off court. They took control of the locker room by challenging others to improve their play. They started using the pick-and-roll to terrorize opponents.

It’s ironic that the change started with these two.

Before signing with New York this July, Felton had a mostly mixed run in Charlotte. He wasn’t a bust; however, he was behind other point guards from the 2005 draft like Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

Fair or not, Stoudemire also had a mixed reputation. He gave himself the nickname Standing Tall and Talented, and has been known to call himself Black Jesus.

Individually great, Stoudemire never made those around him better. His gaudy numbers were seen as a result of Phoenix teammate Steve Nash.

Well, Felton has taken a giant step. As has Stoudemire. Together, they're creating a new era of Knick basketball.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Nov , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq’s Boston state of mind: ‘No (expletive) layups’

O'Neal discussed his philosophy on unstoppable forces meeting immovable objects before Saturday's game, reaffirming the notion that his primary job description is "enforcer."

"That's what I do: No [expletive] layups," said O'Neal, throwing out a 12-letter curse word for effect. "Print it just like that and, if you get fined, come see me, and I'll reimburse you."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Shaquille O’Neal feeling alright? Is he sick? Has he come down with the dreaded Bieber fever (they sang a duet, you know)?

I raise these questions because O’Neal has gladly accepted his role with the Boston Celtics as a defensive cog down the middle.

Touches are irregular. Shots are few and far between. Minutes have varied. And the future Hall of Fame center hasn’t uttered a word.

Instead, he’s bought into the green-and-white’s get-stops system. He’s active on the pick-and-roll. Opponents are paying the price for driving the lane.

It’s only been a few weeks, but O’Neal’s transition from glamorous superstar to blue-collar big is amazing.

He was once the face of the NBA. He was once the straw that stirred the drink for the three-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers. And he once treated defence like a contagious disease.

That was then, this is now. Unsuccessful stops in Phoenix and Cleveland have changed things.

O’Neal is simply trying to win a fifth NBA championship before ‘Father Time’ forces the inevitable: retirement.

So it’s not the flu. Or, an affliction caused by a midget pop star. Shaq’ has changed his stripes because the end is near.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , Nov , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The rumor that won’t die: Nash to New York

Still, the Knicks are going to do their due diligence, just in case the Suns are actually interested in moving the face of their franchise. The Knicks "will make an inquiry," one team source said regarding Nash's possible availability.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It doesn’t matter how much those involved deny it. This rumor isn’t going anywhere.

Not now. Not until there's closure.

The struggling New York Knicks allegedly contacted the Phoenix Suns about the availability of point guard Steve Nash.

The Knicks interest in Nash is nothing new. Neither is Nash’s interest in the Knicks.

Former teammate Amar’e Stoudemire and Coach Mike D’Antoni are there; the Knicks spend money, the Suns don’t; Nash already spends his summers in the trendy SoHo district; and living fulltime in The Big Apple would allow him to pursue his post hoops career of film production.

This isn’t exactly breaking news. However, there’s a recent development:  Nash and his wife are getting divorced.

Perhaps he’ll now seek a change of scenery –like a trade to The Big Apple. Of course, he may want to stay in Phoenix to be near his twin daughters and newborn baby.

There's only one thing we know: the speculation surrounding Nash and New York will continue.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Thursday , Nov , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Alvin Gentry: Steve Nash is ‘not going to be traded’

Steve Nash takes in the trade talk and returns a measured response, but Suns coach Alvin Gentry isn't ... He stepped in to end Nash's interview and then he made out trade speculators to be ridiculous. "Steve's not going to be traded, that I can tell you," Gentry said. "If he's getting traded, I'm going along with him, OK? Have you looked at the way he's playing? He's playing at a real high level. Why would we trade him? I don't understand that. That's nothing that's been discussed here. It's not going to happen."
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Enough was enough –at least for Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry.

This morning, Gentry emphatically shot down rumors the Suns were trading superstar point guard and franchise face Steve Nash.

According to Gentry, Nash isn’t available. He’s too valuable to the Suns and their ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ system.

Of course, Gentry has a point. Nash has two years and $22 million left on his contract, so the Suns ultimately control his fate.

However, Nash, a two-time MVP, has leverage. Fans sympathize with him because Phoenix owner Robert Sarver is more concerned with turning a profit than winning a championship.

Fans would understand if he asked for a trade. Sarver would likely accommodate. And Gentry’s opinion, frankly, wouldn't matter.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Nov , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nash to New York?

Should the Suns slip in the playoff race, Steve Nash, according to some, may be on the trading block. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni and Amar'e Stoudemire would give their left lung to reunite with the veteran playmaker.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s already a regular on New York fixtures like The Late Show with David Letterman, but will Steve Nas be a fixture at Madison Square Gardens?

Reports continue to surface that Nash may be willing to leave the Phoenix Suns to finish his career with the New York Knicks. This theory isn’t so far-fetched:

1) Nash is already a legit' New Yorker, spending his summers in a luxurious ‘SoHo’ pad. The move would have little impact on his wife and twin daughters.

2) Former Suns teammate Amar’e Stoudemire is a Knick, courtesy of a five-year, $100 million free agent contract. Mike D’Antoni, Nash’s friend and former confidante with the Suns, is the Knicks’ coach. 

3) New York, unlike Phoenix, has resources. Exceeding the cap and paying the luxury tax isn’t an issue, especially if it enhances their chances at winning.

4) Nash loves challenges. Helping to resurrect the lowly Knicks would make him a hero in the media capital of the world.

5) New York would allow Nash to continue pursuing his next career in film and documentary production. His first effort Into The Wind was part of ESPN’s 30-for-30 series.

Of course, swapping The Desert for The Big Apple hinges on one thing: winning. If the Suns are competitive, Nash stays. If the Suns aren’t competitive, he leaves.

Before Phoenix’s season opener, Nash told the press he “would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys”.

So draw your own conclusions about Nash moving to New York.

 --Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Oct , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Amar’e Stoudemire left Suns to win with Knicks?

Amar'e Stoudemire left the Suns as a free agent and decided to join the Knicks for fame, fortune and a better chance to win an NBA title. New York doesn't have the core needed to contend now but even after signing Stoudemire to a $100 million contract, they have the future cap space to make a splash.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This sounds good.

Amar'e Stoudemire is telling anyone who'll listen he left Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns to win a championship with the New York Knicks.

His logic is, of course, flawed.

While Nash and the Suns won't be hosting a June victory parade, the Knicks aren't closer to shutting down Manhattan for a championship celebration, either.

Don't forget the Knicks play in the highly competitive Eastern Conference, too. There's the Holy Trinity in Miami; the Gang Green of the Boston Celtics; and the always tough Orlando Magic.

Bottom line: Stoudemire signed with the Knicks because they offered the most money. In fact, the Knicks $100 million contract trumped other teams’ offers by $20 million.

The Big Apple is perfect for the 'modest' Stoudemire – a player who dubbed himself Standing Tall and Talented – to ply his trade.

After all, New York's spotlight and stage is bigger than any other. And there's no Nash to steal headlines or credit.

So STAT can say his decision to leave Phoenix was about winning. Money and market size played a role, too.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Sep , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jared Dudley ‘not optimistic’ about early extension from Phoenix Suns

"It would be nice," Dudley said of an extension. "I'm not optimistic. My mindset is to go out and play my last year and go as far as we can. At the end of the year, I know if we win, I'm going to have a good year. I do a pretty good job of keeping healthy. My goal is to come out and have a better year than last year and have the team better. When a team is successful, everybody usually does pretty well. Look at Channing (Frye). $30 million. Tell him (to) let me get a little bit of that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Since getting traded to the Phoenix Suns, he’s done things the right way.

For instance, instead of complaining about his lack of minutes in the latter half of the 2009 season, Jared Dudley lost weight, increased his outside range, and improved his defense.

The results were obvious: Dudley became a key part of Coach Alvin Gentry’s bench, often taking the floor in key situations.

After his successful 2010 campaign, a lesser person would get frustrated by not scoring an extension before the October deadline.

Dudley won’t, though.

He knows the thrifty Suns only have so much money to spend, especially after assuming Hedo Turkoglu’s big ticket and giving Channing Frye a $30 million extension.

So Dudley could end up playing out his rookie contract and becoming a restricted free agent. 

It won’t be an issue. Dudley will do things right. He’ll likely have another nice year and let the money and contract situation sort itself out.

--Oly Sandor.

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