The Lakers are trying to trade guard Sasha Vujacic along with a future first-round pick in order to get his salary off the books, according to sources.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom is grabbing rebounds and bouncing a little when dribbling up-court. Ron Artest doesn't resemble a lost tourist in the triangle. Pau Gasol asserts his will in the paint. Instead of pacing the sideline and dropping quotes about collecting oneself, Phil Jackson is laying back in his throne -also known as The Ergonomically Correct Chair. Kobe Braynt is 'facilitating' rather than scoring. Sasha Vujacic, the self proclaimed machine, is knocking down three-pointers, alienating opponents, and styling his straight-outta-Slovenia do. And those celebs' rocking courtside seats at Staples Center are flashing their Hollywood smiles for ABC.
If you haven't guessed it, these are signs the Los Angeles Lakers are winning. However, there is a notable omission: Shannon Brown's highlight reel jams.
The purple-and-gold always seems to win when the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Gets On Up like Jodeci and rocks the rim for two points.
(Yes, HoopsVibe News is referencing the classically cheesy R&B group from the 1990s. And sadly, HoopsVibe News is old enough to legitimately do so.)
Consider game-six of the NBA Finals. First Brown rammed home a one-handed breakaway jam and then he rubbed his man off an Odom back-pick, grabbed an alley-oop toss and converted an amazing jam.
Both dunks inspired teammates and fans. Not surprisingly, the Lakers won game-six of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
And they're hoping -at least in California - that Brown repeats his aerial antics in game-seven, even if it's got that Jodeci thing going on.
Got thoughts? Did Brown Get On Up like Jodeci.
Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers emphatically extended the NBA finals to a decisive seventh game with a 89-67 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Two days ago, Kobe Bryant demanded his teammates 'man up and play'. Well, the Los Angeles Lakers - both individually and collectively - fulfilled his request on Tuesday evening.
The purple-and-gold dominated every aspect of game six, building an early lead through tough defense, infectious hustle, and inspired play. The Celtics never mounted a serious challenge and the Lakers cruised through the second half to an easy win.
The difference between games five and six was obvious: Bryant had help. Loads of it.
For instance, co-star Pau Gasol had a double-double, but - best of all - the Spaniard imposed his will down-low; Ron Artest hit shots; Lamar Odom stopped complaining about the flu and got active; and Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Sasha Vujacic provided energy off the bench.
Two specific plays stand out. First, Artest was so confident he over-dribbled and still sank an improbable fall-back shot. Second, Farmar out-hustled Celtic Rajon Rondo for a loose ball by sacrificing his body and diving on the floor.
Bryant aside, no Laker looked confident or sacrificed in game-five.
As a group, L.A. played superb defense. They challenged every shot. They provided helped. They got stops. They won the battle of the boards. And they held the Celtics to 67 points, the second lowest total in NBA Finals history.
Meanwhile, Boston resembled a team with a one game cushion. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo were outplayed by the Lakers' big guns. The bench - which had been so effective earlier in the series - looked awestruck.
Of course, Kendrick Perkins' injury didn't help. The rough and tumble post sprained his knee early in the first quarter and never returned. His status for game-seven is unknown.
With or without Perkins, the green-and-white must re-establish their presence in the paint and show greater urgency on Thursday.
In fact, the Celtics should consider Bryant's advice and 'man up'. Or the Lakers will win what has become a one game, do-or-die NBA Finals and will hoist the Larry O'Brien championship trophy.
Got thoughts on game six? And what's your prediction for Thursday's game-seven?
HoopsVibe's Call: It was The Slovenian Elbow.
With the Los Angeles Lakers up 91-76 and on their way to a fourth and decisive victory in the Western Conference Finals, Sasha Vujacic got personal, throwing an elbow at countryman and mortal enemy Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic.
Vujacic and Dragic - both hailing from Slovenia, a tiny republic on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean - often resemble Hollywood socialites with their beef both on-and-off court.
Anyway, the refs caught Vujacic's elbow, assessed a flagrant foul and, suddenly, the Suns had enough energy for a fourth-quarter charge. In a post-game interview with Craig Sager, Kobe Bryant said he would 'kill' The Machine (Vujacic) for such a lapse in judgement.
Check out our grainy video and get at us with thoughts on Vujacic and Dragic's feud.
Yikes. I saw something similar when I tore a ligament in my ankle, only the purple-and-black cloud eventually ended up eclipsing two-thirds of my foot, with the upper extremity of the bruise creeping out of my sock. The discolouration itself wasn't painful to the touch, but it was still disconcerting to see that my ankle looked like an eggplant. Still, the fact that it dissipated quite quickly encouraged me during the early stages of my rehab, and it should do the same for Machine. Credit to Lakers.com for the image of Sasha Vujacic's unsightly ankle after his recent injury.