scottie-pippen
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Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jon Barry: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade less great together

I hate to see two great, great players -- in my mind, two of the top three in the league with he and Wade -- join up. I like seeing them go against each other. We're not going to see the greatness of each player on a nightly basis like we're accustomed to seeing. That's disappointing. But I can't blame LeBron because you're ultimately judged by the number of NBA rings on your finger, and that team is going to be one of the favorites.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s stature won’t decrease because they’re together with the Miami Heat.

If anything, it’s the opposite. Their greatness will increase.

Instead of being a one-man show, instead of making-do with sub-par co-stars, instead of bowing out prematurely in the playoffs year-after-year, James and Wade will play relevant basketball in May and June.

Great players need each other. And great players should bring out the best in each other.

Consider the past. Magic Johnson had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Larry Bird had Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. Isiah Thomas had Joe Dumars. Or vice-versa. And Tim Duncan had David Robinson.

There’s a misconception a great player is only great if he’s leading ‘His Team’. One superstar is the general with eleven other players following.

What a crock.

Even the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan, had considerable help. During their championship run, Scottie Pippen was arguably the second best player in the NBA.

Pippen is a top fifty player of all-time. He’s in the Hall of Fame. He could pass, score, rebound, and finish in the open-court. His athleticism and ability to defend all five positions made him invaluable.

Expect James and Wade to excel together. They’re friends. They engineered this situation. And they’ll bring out the greatness in each other.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Aug , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Tracy McGrady: ‘I’m not changing’

"I'm not changing anything," McGrady said at his introductory news conference on Aug. 16. "I'm only 31 years old. I'm not 44 or 41. ... I might not be dunking on anybody like I used to, but I'm going to put the ball in the hole. Who was that, (Mehmet) Okur, I dunked on in '03? I might not be doing stuff like that ... but I still can put it in the hole."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I appreciate his confidence.

After being written off by fans, journalists, and franchises, Tracy McGrady has an axe to grind. He’s desperate to prove he’s T-Mac, the high-flying scorer of years past.

And this could present problems. At times, McGrady can still embarrass opposing defenses and fill up the hoop. To salvage his career he must change. He must do other things.

For instance, in Toronto, McGrady was a stat-stuffer. His length, athleticism, and desire allowed him to block shots, rebound, and post multiple steals per game. He was also a decent passer.

Today, McGrady is much older and less athletic. While he can’t be that Scottie Pippen type of player, he must do more than score. He must try to be a well-rounded player.

If he just worries about scoring, he’ll post numbers on a bad Detroit team, but no contender will sign him next summer when he hits free agency.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley on LeBron: ‘the one hour decision was a punk move’

``If Lebron is taking mental notes of everyone who is taking shots at him this summer, put me on top of your list!  I thought the one hour decision was a punk move.   I thought the dance in Miami was a punk move and I was very disappointed that he left Cleveland to join D.Wade's team."  (quote from Mike Greenberg`s ESPN morning show)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Charles Barkley, how do you really feel?

The TNT broadcaster and Hall of Fame power forward has been rather outspoken in his criticism of LeBron James. Barkley didn’t like that James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. He also didn’t like how he left.

The Round Mound of Rebound’s latest comments came in response to James tweeting that he’s taking ‘mental notes’ on all his enemies, and wants revenge.

Two points are worth noting.

First, Barkley, a former regular season MVP, is wrong to knock James for joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South beach.

James is at his best when facilitating instead of averaging 30 points per night. He’s more Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Oscar Robertson than, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. As a facilitator, he needs great players like Wade and Bosh.

At least, James will sacrifice to win. Years ago, a certain four-man’s ego forced Pippen off Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston squad, and compromised the Rockets’ chances of winning another NBA Title.

Sound familiar Chuck?

That said, there’s no excuse for how James left Cleveland. There’s no justification for him treating the folks who raised, loved, and supported him so badly.

Second, this again proves that The Decision created The Backlash. The ‘heat’ James is taking is self-induced. His tweet about ‘taking mental notes’ forced Barkley to comment.

Just like The Decision - his hour long ESPN special where he broke up with Cleveland for Miami - prompted the state of Ohio to burn his jerseys, while the rest of America named him public enemy number one.

If The Decision doesn’t happen, The Backlash doesn’t happen.

Perhaps James should take his mental notes silently. Perhaps Barkley should just be silent. Unfortunately, there’s zero chance of either happening.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

Give them the stink face when they diss Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.
Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 J.N.

Give them the stink face when they diss Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

I hate people who hate on Scottie Pippen. The douche bags who believe that they are the alpha males will view the “Scottie Pippen” tag as the kiss of death. His name has become English’s replacement of “sidekick,” “Robin,” and “assistant.” Try to look up the words and you’ll see Pippen’s face. That kind of legacy is kick ass. Ask Patrick Ewing if being Pippen is bad. He’ll probably dunk and stand over you.

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Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.
Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 J.N.

Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Jeff Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.” A long time friend brought to my attention regarding this comment about Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat. I’ve caught this awhile back and needed time to ponder about such a notion. You guys do realize that in order to break the record, the team can only lose nine games, right? Count that again – 9 games. Seriously.

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Tuesday , Aug , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan to present Scottie Pippen to Basketball Hall of Fame

Michael Jordan will present Scottie Pippen for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Each inductee is presented by a current Hall of Famer.

"I can't think of a better person to do it," Pippen said.

"Michael is someone I shared my career with, accomplishing most of what I have accomplished thus far. He was a great teammate, teacher and admirer. I'm excited to have an opportunity to be the first person that he has presented into the Hall of Fame. I figure if anyone deserves to be on the stage with me, it's him."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah Scottie, do you really want Michael Jordan presenting you for induction?

On the one hand, Pippen's decision is perfect. He and Jordan were the NBA's greatest all-time duo. They were Batman and Robin, Riggs and Murtaugh, and Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

Together, they won six NBA championships in eight years with the Chicago Bulls. They set the single-season win mark with 72. And they were tremendous on both ends of the floor.

On the other hand, Jordan's previous appearance at the HOF offended some. For the record, I had no issue with MJ's controversial acceptance speech.

Sure, he took shots at foes like Isiah Thomas and his grade ten coach. However, that was Jordan. Always competing; never letting go of past slights.

Of course, it's Pippen's night. He can pick whoever he likes to present him. Let's hope Jordan remembers this, too.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Monday , Jul , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jordan on playing with Bird and Magic: ‘there’s no way’

Michael Jordan talked about the decision made by LeBron James to sign with the Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said on Sunday. "But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has finally said his piece.

Yesterday, Michael Jordan told the world he would never, ever have joined forces with fellow greats like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson because he wanted to beat them.

His feelings are fair, but unrealistic.

Jordan never had the options Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade had. After his rookie contract expired, MJ signed an eight year, $25 million contract that negated any chance of partnering with an all-time great.

And when he finally hit unrestricted free agency, Bird and Magic had both retired, so a partnership was impossible.

Jordan was also the game’s undisputed greatest player. There was no parity between superstars like today. In fact, his greatest challenge might have been from teammate, top 50 all time player, and Hall of Fame swing Scottie Pippen.

Then there’s the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old CBA allowed teams a massive advantage in signing their own free agents. For instance, Chicago inked Jordan to several one-year contracts for upwards of $30 million.

The culture of the NBA was different, too. Teams wanted to win now, and the notion of cutting cap space for three years to sign a trio of superstars was unheard of. In fact, it didn’t happen.   

Of course, Jordan has the right to say what he wants and thinks. It’s not necessarily accurate, though.

-- Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson prove that NBA front offices are stupid.
Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 J.N.

Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson prove that NBA front offices are stupid.

America is awesome. We get to blow up illegal fireworks to celebrate the freedom of life and independence of this great country and get paid handsomely for playing a game. NFL football is where it’s at! F#$K yeah! What’s this World Cup stuff? Excuse me. I meant NBA basketball is the awesomeness. You do not have to be on Kobe – Wade – LeBron tier to get a max deal. Sweet.

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Monday , Jun , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Does Chris Bosh want to be Jermaine O’Neal or Scottie Pippen?

"I don't want to be mentioned as an addition to a team," Bosh said prior to the season. "I want to be mentioned as the guy that people want to center their team around."

"I'm not an addition. I'm a centerpiece," he said. "I have to have that confidence in myself, and I want people to know that, because I'm not somebody that helps out. I'm the guy you get like, 'Yo, we're going to win a championship, you're gonna take us there.'
 
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Jermaine O'Neal or Scottie Pippen?
 
ESPN scribe Chris Broussard once said this was the choice Chris Bosh would face when he hit free agency. Broussard reasoned that Bosh would max out as a good, O'Neal type player -if he signed somewhere as the 'centrepiece'.
 
However, the veteran writer believed Bosh would become a Hall of Fame, second-star like Pippen -if he agreed to sign on as LeBron James or Dwyane Wade's sidekick.
 
He's right. And Bosh's true colors will be revealed with his decision.
 
If he's about the accolades, if he's about getting his and only his, then Bosh signs somewhere as The Man and hits the golf course every May instead of playing meaningful basketball.
 
If he's about winning NBA Titles, if he's about greatness, he drops this 'centrepiece' stuff and partners with a once-in-a-generation-superstar like James or Wade.
 
Frankly, this shouldn't be much of a decision for Bosh.
 
Got thoughts on CB4's future? Get at us in the comment box below.   
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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?