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Friday , Dec , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Suns to sign Shannon Brown?

Unrestricted free agent and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown will sign a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard on Thursday.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Oh, the highlights will be plentiful.

Just imagine: Steve Nash gets the outlet and starts the break; Shannon Brown bolts down court filling the lane; Brown takes the pass in mid-air and crams an alley-oop of epic proportions.

Expect this scenario. Again and again.

Brown signing a one-year deal with the Suns will be a boon for Youtube; hoop heads will scour over his highlight reel jams off Nash dimes.

Entertainment aside, this will do little for the Suns. They need real, tangible changes. And Brown -a nice but hardly spectacular signing – doesn't provide a long-term direction.

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

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Thursday , Sep , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Pau Gasol: Lakers and I have Nothing to Prove

"I do not think there's anything to prove on my side," Gasol said via email when asked if he was eager to put the Lakers' postseason behind him. "Last season we didn't perform during the playoffs as we were supposed to. . . . You cannot win every year; there are a lot of very good teams in the league."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, ‘thou protest too much’.

Gasol is in denial if he thinks he and the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have something to prove after losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semi-Finals last May.

He, and his team, have everything to prove.

Gasol had an up-and-down regular season, but belongs on a milk carton after disappearing in the playoffs against the Mavericks.

His play was so poor former coach Phil Jackson, in a fit of un-Zen-like behaviour, shoved him. Their exchange was played over-and-over again on you tube as the Mavs’ swept the Lakers. 

Then Laker-nation piled on. Snoop Dogg, the West Coast rapper, attacked via twitter. Gossip rags speculated that teammate Shannon Brown was to blame for his split with a longtime girlfriend.

(For the record, Brown, who is married to the singer Monica, denied the rumor.)

There was a school of thought that Gasol would be dealt, and the Lakers supposedly tested the market for their finesse-four at the end of June after the NBA Finals.

So Gasol, like it or not, must prove he’s still a premier player. He has company, though.

The Lakers are expected to win the championship every year, which is why their ownership consistently exceeds the luxury tax. Except after winning back-to-back Larry O’Brien trophies in 2009 and 2010, the purple-and-gold got embarrassed by Team Cuban.

The Lakers were out-hustled and out-worked; they looked like complacent Hollywood stars and not the team that captured consecutive championships.

Bottom line: Gasol and the Lakers have everything to prove.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Pau Gasol for Kevin Love?

The topic of Pau Gasol and the Minnesota Timberwolves was discussed last week based on the word of ESPN's Chad Ford that the Wolves had interest in the Los Angeles Laker All-Star forward/center. Further research revealed that the Wolves do indeed have interest in Gasol, notably because of his relationship with guard Ricky Rubio.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: From the toast of Hollywood to potentially plying his trade in Minnesota.

Oh, how the mighty Pau Gasol has fallen. Last year, the Spanish post was integral to the Los Angeles Lakers winning consecutive championships.

This year, it went south: his play faltered; he got the Bobby Knight treatment from former coach Phil Jackson: Laker-nation turned on him; he broke up with his girl; teammate Shannon Brown had to deny reports about getting between Gasol and his girl.

Not surprisingly, the Lakers lost in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. And Gasol seems primed for a change of scenery.

But Minnesota?

Sure, they'd have young pieces in Mike Beasley and Ricky Rubio. And sure, Gasol would mentor Rubio, who he knows from the Spanish national team.

The Timberwolves are a mess. It starts from the top. Owner Glen Taylor has no class. Lead executive David Kahn routinely shoots his mouth off.

For example, these two have left coach Kurt Rambis hanging for months. They haven’t fired him. They haven't endorsed him, either.

They instead made him hand in ‘homework’. Yes, Rambis, who won several championships as a player and assistant coach, must submit a report on improving the team, and then Taylor and Kahn will decide his future.

Good organizations don't do this. They don't degrade. They treat people, all people, with respect -even a below average head coach like Rambis.

Last year was bad for Gasol. Things would be worse in Minnesota, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shannon Brown: Ì did not sleep with Pau Gasol`s woman

Ok let me put a end to this right now before it goes any further. I DID NOT SLEEP WITH woman!!! First and last time addressing it!

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The last few weeks haven`t been easy on Pau Gasol.

Lakers-nation is blaming him for getting ousted from the playoffs; Snoop Dogg called him out in a twitter tirade; his coach slapped him in game three of the Western Conference semi-finals against the Dallas Mavericks; his personal life is a mess.

Yesterday, teammate Shannon Brown denied sleeping with his girl, or ex-girl, via twitter. Here's the question: with all that has occurred, can the Spaniard return to the purple-and-gold in 2012?

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

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Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe on Shannon Brown’s switch-hand dunk: ‘I give it a 10, no question’

So, does the dunk have a name? "There’s no name for it," Brown said. "I don’t know. I just switched hands. It happened so quick."
As a former Slam Dunk contest judge, what would Kobe Bryant give it? "I give it a 10, no question," Bryant said. "It was just ridiculous. His explosiveness is out of this world. I don’t know if I could do that. I did a lot of [stuff], but that ..."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant is not easily impressed.

In fact, The Black Mamba is a notoriously tough critic, especially if you play on his Los Angeles Lakers.

So his praise of Shannon Brown’s aerial antics against the New Orleans Hornets is somewhat surprising. Bryant gave Brown a perfect 10-out-of-10 for switching hands in mid-air.

Do you agree with Bryant? Is Brown`s dunk really a dime? Watch the clip and give us your score for the reserve guard`s dunk in the comment box below.


--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Nov , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Are ‘The Renegades’ key to Kobe and Lakers Three-peating?

Just one week into the season, Lakers coach Phil Jackson has already coined a nickname for his team's energetic bench: The Renegades.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Never argue with a Zen-Master, especially one with 11 championship rings.

Phil Jackson is right: the Los Angeles Lakers made three subtle moves this summer to solidify their bench, and counter the national headlines made by their eastern rivals.

First, they signed Steve Blake. He’s a feisty, intelligent table-setter, who’ll fill-in and eventually replace veteran Derek Fisher.

Second, they inked giant Theo Ratliff. He’s 7-2. And has a massive wingspan. When the tin-man, Andrew Bynum, is hurt, Ratliff can clog the middle against bigger posts.

Finally, Matt Barnes was brought-in. The former Mohawk can guard and play multiple positions; stretch opposing defenses with his range; and, most importantly, brings grit and toughness.

Blake, Ratliff, and Barnes fit perfectly next to Shannon Brown, a dynamic open-court player, and Sasha ‘The Machine’ Vujacic.

Of course, the piece de resistance is Lamar Odom, a versatile forward who is always a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year.

Odom has taken his game to another level after spending his summer leading Team USA to the gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

So renegades is an interesting moniker for this group. Whatever the nickname, they'll be a big part of the Lakers' quest to three-peat.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Shannon Brown will pick Lakers over Knicks

Shannon Brown is "leaning" toward returning to the Lakers to go for a "three-peat", according to his agent Mark Bartelstein. Brown is expected to make his final decision on Thursday. The free agent has also been considering the Knicks.

"The Knicks did a great job selling Shannon on everything and their vision for him," Bartelstein said. "They did a great job, but the chance to go back and win a third championship for the Lakers is a tough thing to pass up. He'll make a final decision [today]."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: You can't blame him for staying put.
 
Shannon Brown is young, so he'll sacrafice everything to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers: money, minutes, shots, and playing time.
 
After all, he has a chance at three-peating in Los Angeles, while the New York Knicks will struggle to secure one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
 
So the Lakers will likely win out on the Knicks. For now.
 
In a few years, Brown will have to take the largest contract available. And the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could hamper the Lakers' ability to keep valuable supporting pieces.  
 
However, the Staples Center faithful will be treated to another year of Brown's aerial antics.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.     
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Friday , Jul , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Shannon Brown leave Lakers for Knicks?

The Knicks have made a contract offer to Shannon Brown using a portion of their remaining salary-cap room, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It would be great for the New York Knicks.
 
Shannon Brown - one of the league's most exciting players - running the floor with pogo stick post Amar'e Stoudemire and exciting Madison Square Gardens with their high-flying aerial antics. These two would dominate highlight reels and youtube clips for years
 
There is a catch: reserve guard Sasha Vujacic.
 
Brown's priority is to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and vice-versa. But the two-time defending champions have no cap space.
 
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has to dump Vujacic's $5 million expiring contract to create enough cap space to re-sign Brown. No team wants the Slovenian, and if the purple-and-gold can't trade Vujacic, then they can't keep Brown.
 
Of course, Brown - with no chance of returning to the west coast - would then have to take the Knicks' offer.  
 
Bottom line: New York is Brown's back-up plan -even if it would be great.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Jul , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lakers close to re-signing Shannon Brown

With Raja Bell choosing to sign with the Utah Jazz, guard Shannon Brown has moved closer to re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night.

Lakers general manager “Mitch [Kupchak] and I have been talking and we’re getting there on something,” said Brown’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. Brown, 24, played 82 games for the Lakers, and averaged a career-high 8.1 points and 20 minutes last season.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He wasn't their first choice. He will, however, be their choice.

After chasing and losing free agent lockdown defender Raja Bell to the Utah Jazz, the Los Angeles Lakers have turned their attention to re-signing high-flying combo guard Shannon Brown.

While Brown lacks Bell's defensive pedigree, he energizes teammates and the Staples Center faithful with his high-flying antics. However, consistency was a problem, which forced the Lakers to consider other options.

Becoming steadier will be Brown's focus in 2011. And it looks like his season will be spent in LA.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zen to Stay: Phil Jackson will coach Lakers in 2011

"Count me in," Jackson said in a statement. "After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He couldn't pass on the possibility of a three-peat.

After much deliberation, thought, and posturing, Phil Jackson - the Hall of Fame sideline boss - will be back to coach the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson's return had been complicated by a power struggle in the Lakers' front office and ownership's request he take a reduction on his $12 million per season contract.

Of course, there are lingering issues for Jackson and the Buss clan, who own the Lakers, to settle. For instance, coach and ownership must agree on the size of his pay cut and whether free agents Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Derek Fisher will be re-signed.    

Still, the chance to win three consecutive championships for the fourth time in his career was too much for The Zen to ignore.

-- O.Sandor.

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

Kobe’s Lakers won the title. It’s over. Vol. 2010 NBA Finals game 6
Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 J.N.

Kobe’s Lakers won the title. It’s over. Vol. 2010 NBA Finals game 6

What happened? The game was over when Kendrick Perkins got injured. The Lakers took their hearts. After Kobe questioned his teammates’ hearts, they proved that they had more than enough for game 6 in Los Angeles. Pau Gasol finished with a near triple double: 17 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 blocks. Derek Fisher didn’t need to do much. Kendrick Perkins is done. Rajon Rondo took a vicious elbow from Ron Artest that required stitches. The Lakers got this and Kobe got his 5th ring.

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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shannon Brown ‘Getting On Up’ in Game-SIx of the NBA Finals

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.

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Wednesday , Jun , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Do-or-Die: Bryant and Lakers ‘man up’ to force game-seven against Celtics

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.

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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?             

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Wednesday , May , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why the Lakers can’t handle the Suns’ zone

The Los Angeles Lakers were outnumbered and outplayed in the desert.

The Phoenix Suns got a decisive performance from their hustling bench to overcome Kobe Bryant's 38-point, 10-assist performance and beat the Lakers 115-106 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night.

A series that looked like a Lakers' breeze a week ago is all even at two apiece heading to Game 5 on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

The Suns reserves, considered an advantage entering the series but largely ineffective through three games, outscored their Lakers counterparts 54-20.

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HoopsVibe's Call: The Phoenix Suns are in 'The Zone'. Literally.

The surprising Suns have tied the Western Conference Finals by using a zone defense against the Los Angeles Lakers. There are several reasons the defending world champions have struggled against this unorthodox defense:

-Zone is rarely used in the NBA, especially come playoff time. In fact, for decades zone was banned because it was believed to limit the players' ability to showcase individual talent. The purple-and-gold is out of sync against a defense they've rarely seen.

-The Lakers lack a true point guard. A classic, pass-first table setter can direct the offense and find the holes against a zone. Too often, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Derek Fisher settled for outside shots and allowed teammates to become perimeter players.

-Bryant had a strong game, hitting 15-of-22 shots for 38 points and adding 10 assists and 7 rebounds. However, he couldn't get clean looks against the zone for most of the fourth quarter and Pau Gasol struggled.

-The zone forced the Lakers to play at the Suns' breakneck pace. No team - not even the great Lakers - beats Seven Seconds Or Less when the game becomes a track meet. 

The Suns' zone has made the Western Conference Finals a best-of-three affair. The Lakers must adjust to the zone or another team will be hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in June.  

What do you think of Phoenix's zone? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

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Tuesday , May , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Greatest missed dunk of all time: Shannon Brown versus Vince Carter?

"Even though he missed, that totally gets a "wowee we wa" from this guy. The miss was so good that people immediately started calling it the best missed dunk of all-time. You be the judge. Either way, I'd offer up that this missed dunk provided some of the most amazing pictures in the history of dunking."

(Ball Don’t Lie)

HoopsVibe’s Call: It made you stand, shake your head, and curse in amazement.

Last night, in the final frame of the Los Angeles Lakers' blow-out win against the Phoenix Suns, Shannon Brown wowed the crowd with a missed dunk.

Yes, a blown facial is making headlines after a disappointing game one. Some, like Ball Don’t Lie, proclaimed it The Greatest Missed Dunk of All Time.

While HoopsVibe News was amazed, impressed, and stunned with Brown’s attempt, we weren’t quite ready to hand over G.O.A.T status.

Instead we’ll pit Brown against Vince Carter's body of work and let you decide who had the greatest missed dunk ever?


(Brown’s blown jam.)


(Carter's career best misses.)

Who has the greatest botched dunk of all time: Brown or Carter? Let us know in the comment box below.