Sunday , Dec , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe
Christmas is upon us. I bet you crazies are recovering from the annual Black Friday or Thanksgiving. I’m not. I’m whatever at this point because I’m keeping tabs as the era of great point guards gets even crazier around the NBA as they reign supreme. Stat tracking gets somewhat difficult because I just want to watch them play. Quality point guards are not difficult to find anymore compared to years’ past. Even if you do not land anyone listed among the top 10 in your fantasy draft, there are more good point guards hidden in the waiver wire depending on the league’s depth. Stats are up to date as of December 1, 2010.Read More
“The question ownership asked to me was, ‘Who do I want – Jason Kidd, Steve Nash or Kobe Bryant?’ I said Steve. Over Kobe. At the time, Kobe had a reputation for being selfish and Steve was the ultimate point guard. I felt like that’s what we needed. We had Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion. We just didn’t have a PG to control tempo. Kidd was banged up after microfracture (knee surgery).”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Point guards are important, but damn.
In a recent interview, Amar’e Stoudemire claimed he told the Phoenix Suns to sign pass-first table-setter Steve Nash instead of the world’s best player in Kobe Bryant.
Yes, Nash not Kobe. After all, Kobe had a ‘reputation for being selfish’.
Let me disclose my bias: I’m a huge Kid Canada fan. He’s a two-time MVP, a Hall of Fame playmaker (yeah, I went there), and a terrific person. Oh, and those vitamin spots are pretty funny, too
He has limitations, though. While willing to mix it up in his own end, Nash’s size hinders his ability to defend. And his offensive numbers are inflated by the Suns’ run-and-gun system.
Whatever your view on Nash, he isn’t Kobe Bryant. It’s not close. It’s not debateable. Black Mamba is the premier player in the NBA, winning consecutive championships for a career total of five Larry O’Brien trophies.
Sure, Nash’s passing makes those around him better; however, Bryant’s competitiveness and work ethic forces teammates to ratchet up their production. Call it peer pressure for the millionaire baller.
For instance, Luke Walton recently mentioned he was rehabbing his many injuries at the Lakers’ practice facility. Guess what player is first to show every morning at 7am? That’s right: Kobe.
Now Bryant could have scaled things back this summer or simply hung a ‘gone fishing sign’ until training camp. No coach, executive, journalist, or fan would have said a word.
Of course, he didn’t go on vacation. Instead of slacking, Bryant is punching the clock and working harder than, perhaps, any player in the league. Such single-mindedness is Bryant’s trademark.
To be fair, Bryant probably wouldn’t have turned his back on the Lakers and signed with the Suns. It doesn’t change that Stoudemire’s analysis was, and still is, wrong.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Suns have agreed to terms on a four-year, $18 million deal with free agent forward Hakim Warrick, sources tell Marc Spears of Yahoo!
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.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Not only is he reporting on the World Cup in South Africa for CBS, but Steve Nash is also spreading the culture of hoops by teaching English footie fans The NBA's Chest Bump.
Watch the newest Nash video and get at us with thoughts on The Chest Bump in the comment box below.
"Steve Kerr says he won't return as general manager of the Phoenix Suns despite building a team that made a surprising run to the Western Conference finals.
Kerr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the decision was solely his and not the result of any disagreements with owner Robert Sarver. He said he is "exploring a couple of possibilities" to return to television work."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Publicly, Steve Kerr is saying the right things. Privately, the former sharpshooter was probably concerned owner Robert Sarver wouldn't dig into his pockets to re-sign posts Amar'e Stoudemire and Channing Frye.
After all, Sarver is about business. Always has been. He was the one who felt Joe Johnson wasn't worth a big ticket. And he was the one who instructed management to trade Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez because he didn't want to pay their rookie salaries.
Of course, that was before The Great Recession hit. And make no mistake about it, Sarver's real estate and bank holdings were certainly hit by the economic downturn.
Now Sarver - a guy who loves the publicity and headlines - is likely in charge of negotiations with superstar free agent Stoudemire. Unlike teammate Steve Nash, STAT won't give the Suns a significant hometown discount. And Frye, even in this buyer's market, deserves a raise.
Much is at stake in Phoenix. And the wrong guy, Sarver, will be making the key decisions.
Got thoughts on this?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He's up to his old tricks.
Steve Nash has produced another viral gem for CBS Sports in his role as World Cup reporter. Short, but sweet, this clip pays homage to Brandi Chastain's infamous penalty kick and sports bra celebration for USA at the women's 1999 World Cup.
Check it out and get at us with thoughts on Nashty's latest comedic work in the comment box below.
"I've established great relationships around town," Stoudemire said. "My family is now pretty much from here because all my kids were born and are being raised here. It'd be great to remain a Phoenix Sun for my whole career.
"That's my ultimate goal. And then to win a championship with the team. But we've just got to make sure that we can try to get that done sooner than later because we want to capitalize on the opportunity. We did a great job this season but we definitely want to have a better season and go further the next few years."
"My loyalty is here with the Phoenix Suns," he said. "Once free agency starts and teams are offering me X amount of dollars, then I would definitely say, 'You know what, Phoenix? These guys are offering this much. So if you guys want to step up to the plate, we can hit a home run.' If not, then I could settle for an inside-the-park home run. Just as long as I make it home."
Ricky Rubio is promising NBA fans they'll get to see his razzle-dazzle, but not before the 2011-12 season -- and not necessarily with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the highly rated prospect said he won't leave Spanish club Barcelona before his NBA opt-out clause comes up after next season. The Timberwolves remain his team of choice, as long as they make improvements following a season where they finished 15-67, the second-worst record in the league.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Something must have been lost in the translation from Spanish to English –like showing modesty or being humble.
This is what the Minnesota Timberwolves must be hoping for, after their Spanish point guard prospect, Ricky Rubio, recently held court with the media in Europe.
In a recent interview, the Barcelona club star spouted off: he basically told the Timberwolves to improve or lose his services; described himself as a ‘colourful, attractive, spectacular basketball player’; and compared himself to being ‘in the mold of Magic Johnson and Steve Nash’.
Under normal circumstances, a team should immediately consider cutting ties with such a prospect.
However, these aren’t normal circumstances in Minnesota. Even with two young point guards and other developing pieces, the club only won 15 games last year and can’t sell tickets, luxury suites, or merchandise.
Frankly, the Timberwolves –since trading Kevin Garnett – have become irrelevant.
Rubio would change this. Instantly. His razzle-dazzle game will put butts in seats. And suddenly, the Timberwolves will have an identity, presence, and following at home and throughout the world.
All of this equals one thing: money.
Rubio, of course, knows this. He also knows he has leverage and will hold it over Minnesota executive David Kahn and the entire franchise.
If the Timberwolves don’t give him everything he wants, he plays in Europe and forces a trade. And even if the Timberwolves do give him everything he wants, the 19 year old could still force a trade to a larger market with a more competitive team.
With such pull, Rubio has little need for modesty or humility.
Got thoughts on Rubio? Got thoughts on the state of the Wolves?
But just as we surmised, Nash is going to South Africa and will be working media there. Three days after Nash played coy, it was announced that Nash will post a series of eight videos to CBSSports.com and youtube.com/CBSSports, along with daily photos, iPhone vignettes, status updates and fan interaction on CBSSports.com's social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter. And if CBS is attached, can't we expect a return correspondent visit to The Late Show with David Letterman, as he did for the NBA Finals last summer?
"This project with CBSSports.com combines two of my passions off the basketball court -- the beautiful game known internationally as 'football' and video production," Nash said in a statement released by CBSSports.com. "I look forward to shooting some memorable pieces from South Africa and giving fans a unique and sometimes humorous look at World Cup."
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Well, at least he's keeping busy after the Phoenix Suns' heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conferece Finals.
Word is Steve Nash will drop a series of videos and work as a media reporter in South Africa to celebrate the upcoming World Cup. The HoopsVibe team, who are fans of his work on The Late Show and for Vitamin Water, are jacked to see what the goofy Canadian will come up with.
Re-visit these classics of Nash reporting on the NBA Finals for Letterman and his spoofs for Vitamin Water, then get at us in the comment box with thoughts on the possibility of Nash in South Africa.
(Steve and Dave.)
(Steve for Vitamin Water.)
Instead, they held a team meeting on Sunday, then spoke of the joys of the season and the hopes that it was only the beginning. Whether that future includes Amar'e Stoudemire is the big uncertainty.
Stoudemire said only that he would begin his evaluation process on Monday. Team owner Robert Sarver and general manager Steve Kerr wouldn't address the issue. Suns coach Alvin Gentry said "you would expect" Stoudemire to opt out of his contract and test the free agent market.
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Today, I was listening to a radio show, where the hosts referred to Amar'e Stoudemire as 'fools gold'.
They complained that STAT doesn't play an ounce of defense for Phoenix and believed this would prevent him from getting a max' offer when he inevitably opts out July 1st and hits free agency.
These opinions aren't new. But reporter Bruce Arthur of The National Post raised an interesting scenario: Stoudemire opts-out and Steve Nash convinces his old buddy Dirk Nowitzki, who is also a free agent, to replace him in the Suns' frontcourt.
To be fair, Arthur classified this as a remote possibility. After all, Nowitzki has a bond with the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban.
However, nothing is so far fetched that it couldn't happen in this current climate of free agency and change.
Who replaces Stoudemire if he leaves The Valley of The Sun?
Los Angeles coach coach Phil Jackson and Game 5 hero Ron Artest had different takes on comments made by Steve Nash.
"Maybe we deserved this game, maybe we didn't," Nash said during a postgame news conference Thursday night. "But we lost. And they held home court. We'll go back and do the same and we'll come back here for Game 7."
Jackson said he was not offended.
"What else is he going to say?" Jackson asked. "'We're going to go home and lose?'"
Fresh off his game-winning shot in Game 5, Artest took the comments another way.
"That's like no respect," Artest said after Lakers practice Friday afternoon. "No respect. No respect for us."
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Ron Artest has a case of the 'Aretha Franklins' and he's blaming Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash.
The forward believes Nash doesn't respect the L.A. Lakers because he suggested the Suns may have deserved a better fate in game five. Of course, Artest was the hero Thursday with a last second bank shot that gave the purple-and-gold the win.
As usual, Artest's perspective is unique. Nash likely meant no offence and Lakers coach Phil Jackson interpreted his comments as such.
Oh yeah, it's worth noting Artest was late for Friday's practice. No word on whether his tardiness showed a lack of respect.
Is Ron Artest right? Did Steve Nash disrespect the Lakers?
Former Canadian Olympic teammate Todd MacCulloch was saying the other day that he hoped Nash, a two-time NBA most valuable player, got a ring, “just so no one can say anything bad about his career.”
He needn't worry.
But Vince Carter? You'd like to say he should worry, but it's hard to make the case he does.
Evan as the Orlando Magic have rallied in their series with the Boston Celtics – winning twice in a row to trail 3-2 before Friday's game – Carter's reputation as one of the sport's great underachievers won't require revision. Impossibly, at least in the eyes of Toronto Raptors fans, he's made Magic followers lament the departure of Hedo Turkoglu, as Carter has turned into a $16-million (U.S.) spectator when the stakes are highest.
HoopsVibe's Call: Nash and Carter's careers have been moving in different directions for years because of athleticism. Not just because of effort.
Nash never had Carter's raw physical gifts, so he developed his all-world skill-set and cared for his health. Carter, however, is still living exclusively off his athleticism, which, at 32, is starting to betray him.
For instance, Nash often dodges in-and-out of pick-and-rolls and drops amazing bounce passes, displaying the talent that won the 2010 Skills Contest, while Carter settles for fade-aways and rarely attacks the hoop like the player who won the Slam Dunk Contest.
Also, Nash is an amazing athlete. Sure, he isn't a leaper or speedster, but Hall of Fame NBA writer Jack McCallum wrote in Seven Seconds or Less that Nash's hand-to-eye coordination and reflexes was in the top percentile of players.
Such rare skills allow Nash to hold his own in pick-up soccer matches against American and European pros and helped him excel at baseball, ice hockey, lacrosse, and rugby as a teenager.
Nash's athletic gifts have not depreciated as quickly as Carter's, which explains both their performances in the 2010 playoff.
Why is Nash relevant and Carter irrelevant? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.
"Rajon Rondo is the best all around point guard in the NBA. Deron Williams is the best point guard, but Rondo is the best all around."
(Magic Johnson, ESPN Halftime show, May 22nd, 2010)
HoopsVibe's Call: Forget point guards. Rondo has been the best player in the playoffs.
When looking at their total body of work, HoopsVibe News isn't quite ready to put him above Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or even Steve Nash. After all, Rondo, who's style resembles Jason Kidd when with the New Jersey Nets, has just started playing like an elite table-setter this playoffs.
Here's the real question: if you were starting a team, who would you want Rondo, Paul, Williams, or Nash?
Nash would get excluded because of age, wear-and-tear, and defensive shortcomings. Even with his fine playoff, most would still take Williams or Paul over Rondo.
However, that could change - and soon - if Rondo leads the Boston Celtics to an NBA Title and wins Most Valuable Player for the playoffs.
Who would you rather have Rondo, Paul, Williams, or Nash?
Given how successful the team has been lately, could Amare re-sign with the Suns (this summer)?
“I don't think it's going to happen," a source close to Stoudemire told ESPN. "Amare feels like the organization disrespected him. Amare loves his teammates and has really enjoyed playing for the team these last few months, but he's reluctant to commit to Phoenix long-term."
HoopsVibe's Call: The sun isn't brighter and the grass isn't greener on the other side.
Amar'e Stoudemire, like former Phoenix forward Shawn Marion, also seems destined to learn this lesson the hard way. Nash and 'The Seven Seconds or Less' system suits and highlights Stoudemire's all offense-no defense game.
So why leave?
STAT supposedly wants to suit up for a contender. Well, the Suns are in the Western Conference Finals. And another elite team won't pay him the max' money deal he wants because of his one-way play.
Bottom line: Phoenix, with Steve Nash in the fold, is perfect for Stoudemire.
Should Amar'e say arrivederci to the Suns this summer? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts?