utah-jazz
The NBA’s Top 5 Young Teams On The Rise
Wednesday , Oct , 23 , 2013 Andrew Flint

The NBA’s Top 5 Young Teams On The Rise

I know that most NBA fans are interested in what's currently dominate in sports. It's a world revolving around instant gratification, and what have you done for my lately means a whole lot more than planning ahead and trying to envision what could be a in a few years.

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Easter Sunday- 5 Greatest “Comebacks” In NBA History
Saturday , Mar , 30 , 2013 Paul Eide

Easter Sunday- 5 Greatest “Comebacks” In NBA History

While you're chasing the Easter Bunny tomorrow, don't forget to stop, think and reflect on the NBA.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: In honor of what some call the greatest "comeback" in history, i.e. the resurrection tomorrow, check out this list.

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Andrei Kirilenko To Nets, Warriors Or T-Wolves
Wednesday , Jul , 25 , 2012 Paul Eide

Andrei Kirilenko To Nets, Warriors Or T-Wolves

Would AK-47 turn his back on Russia to rejoin the NBA? Fresh off being named the Euroleague's 2012 MVP,  he is reportedly considering a return to the NBA.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: It isn't a question of if or when he will return to the NBA, but how much money it will take to get him back.

At one time Kirilenko was one of the most well rounded, efficient players in the entire league. At 6-9 and as a former 1st team All-NBA defensive player, his career averages speak to his versatility: 12.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.0 bpg, 1.4 spg all while shooting 47% from the floor, 31% from three and 76% from the line made him a rare talent and defensive nightmare for opposing teams.

AK left the US to play in Russian prior to last season . Even though he has 10 years of NBA experience under his belt, he is just 31 years old and has plenty of good run left.

Today, Kirilenko told a group of reporters what his plans for the upcoming season potentially consisted of. "I want to decide my new team before the Olympics. There are several options in the NBA, but the final choice has not been made yet."

Kirilenko also told a Russian news outlet the following, further hyping his return: "I'll continue my career in the NBA. Which club in particular, we'll know in a day or two."

Rumors are swirling that the Brooklyn Nets would have an advantage seeing as how fellow countryman Mikhail Prokhorov owns teh squad. And in some capacity, PG Deron Williams is trying to convince Kirilenko that he is the missing piece for a championship run.

But would he really accept the veteran's minimum (which is all the Nets can offer) to play in Brooklyn? Even though the new NBA trend is for veteran stars in search of a ring to take lower money in hopes of corralling a championship, it sure seems unlikely, considering the money he can get from other interested teams, most notably the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors.

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Odom Traded to Los Angeles
Friday , Jun , 29 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Odom Traded to Los Angeles

Odom traded to Los Angeles

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lamar loves LA. Now let's see if he can still play ball.

Lamar is headed back to Los Angeles, but not back to the Lakers. He's heading back to his original LA team, the Clippers. The only difference is this time they actually have a descent team. This is all part of a three team deal. The Clippers, Mavs, and Jazz all have their hands in the cookie jar in this trade.

The trade sends Odom to the Clippers and Mo Williams to the Jazz. The Jazz are capable of absorbing Williams's $8.5 million price tag due to an $8.2 million trade exception, similar to the one that brought Odom from the Lakers to Dallas last season.

The deal hinges on Williams exercising his $8.5 million player option for next season, but sources say Williams is game. The Clippers are clearly banking on the fact that having Lamar back in LA where he feels comfortable, he will be able to bounce back to his 2010-2011 form as the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year and not his 6 points per game form in Dallas. The Jazz are happy to get their hands on Williams's 13.2 points per game as Mo is known as an offensive machine.

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Wednesday , Apr , 18 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Delonte West gives Gordon Hayward a Wet Willie

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Okay, let’s not get carried away.


 

Delonte West gave Gordon Hayward a ‘wet-willie’ during the Dallas Mavericks-Utah Jazz game yesterday, which`then led to some serious hyperbole from the game commentators.

Yes, West was wrong. Yes, West deserved a technical foul. And yes, West continued his streak of bizarre behaviour (he applied for a job at Sam’s Club during the lockout).

It was not the worst act in the history of sports, though. Anyway, click the video below and see what the hoopla is about.

 

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

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Sunday , Apr , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Hornets’ owner Tom Benson: We need a name `like Jazz’

"We need to find a name like (Jazz)," Benson said, referring to New Orleans first NBA team that relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979. "Whether we can get that or let us use that, you've got to know we're working on it. We'd like to change it tomorrow. We have not gotten that approved, but we're not letting up on it, either. Because we've got a good relationship with the commissioner and his people and we're going to be on them daily to do something."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ah, Mr. Benson, there’s already a team called Jazz. They play in Salt Lake City. Their owner and fans won’t just give back the nickname -even if it makes sense for it to be returned to New Orleans.

To be fair, Benson has a point: Hornets doesn’t suit New Orleans. It’s connected to former owner George Shinn, and the move over from Charlotte. As part of the franchise’s re-branding, they should use a more appropriate moniker -’like Jazz’. 

The same situation will come up when (not if) the NBA moves back to Seattle. The team must be called Super Sonics and sport green.  Anything else would be criminal.

Now Clay Bennett still owns the Super Sonics nickname but opted not to use it when he caused waves and shifted the franchise to Oklahoma City three years ago.

Bennett and his ownership group have no use for the Super Sonics nickname and logo, and it would be a nice gesture of detente if he returned it to the city of Seattle.

He did, after all, steal the team (watch Sonics-Gate kids).

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

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Saturday , Jan , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Anthony wanted Knicks to sign Josh Howard?

Sources reveal to SLAMonline that Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony recruited Josh Howard during the offseason to play in The Big Apple. Anthony called Howard multiple times, according to sources, to convince the former Wizards forward to join the Knicks’ frontcourt as Anthony’s backup.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He wants Kenyon Martin. And he wanted Josh Howard.

Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks’ franchise player and star forward, hasn’t exactly been subtle with his opinion on personnel moves.

There were reports Anthony wants the Knicks to sign Martin, his former frontcourt partner and friend with the Denver Nuggets.

Martin, of course, can’t join an NBA team until March because he signed with a Chinese club during the lockout, so the former first overall pick must wait until the red tape clears.

Now reports are surfacing that Anthony wanted the Knicks to land Josh Howard, the versatile, do-everything swing who eventually ended up with the Utah Jazz.

Anthony’s input is great and he means well, but there’s a limit. NBA superstars will always have and give their opinion, however, the danger is when it seems like the inmates are running the asylum.

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

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Sunday , Nov , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Andrei Kirilenko bashes face, knocked-out in Euro-league

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If Andrei Kirilenko could survive Baron Davis’ facial in 2007, he could surivive anything.

Well, not quite.

Unfortunately, the combo forward broke his nose and was knocked-out providing help defense in a Euro-league game.

Watch Andrei Kirilenko take a tumble and get back to us with thoughts in the comment box below.


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

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Saturday , Sep , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Jeremy Evans’ put-back jam at Impact League

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Amongst all the lockout talk, there was basketball being played.

Utah Jazz swing Jeremy Evans threw down a viscous put-back jam on the final day of the Impact Basketball League in Las Vegas.

Click the video, watch the highlights, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts. 

--O. Sandor.

 

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Sunday , Sep , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Gordon Hayward`s Fails at Parodying LeBron and The Decision

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Memo to NBA players. Stop parodying The Decision, especially if you`re not funny.

Case in point Gordon Hayward, of the Utah Jazz. The second-year pro spoofed the LeBron James showcase in attempt to create publicity for his new job as a professional video game player.

Click the video, watch Hayward’s awful and awkward attempt at humor, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Yao: Hall of Fame Player or Hall of Fame Ambassador?

“No. 1 to me, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Van Gundy said. “Idon’t care if you put him in as player, as a contributor or put him in with his own heading. This guy definitely gets in for the greatness as a player when healthy or what he did as ambassador.” He then added a thought he would repeat often.“People forget,” Van Gundy said, “just how good he was.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He goes in as an ambassador –or not at all.

It's tempting to get caught-up and proclaim Yao Ming a Hall of Fame NBA player. After all, Yao is a nice fellow. His numbers were good. And for a very short time, he was the premier center in the NBA.

A pleasant demeanour, good statistics, and a short run as 'The Man in the Middle' doesn't mean Yao deserves basketball's greatest individual honour –at least as a player.

The crème de la crème of NBA players validate themselves by championships. Rings, more than individual statistics, are the measure of greatness.

This is fair. Unlike Major League Baseball, one NBA player can greatly influence a team. So team success is the best gauge of that player's impact.

Yao never won a championship. In fact, he never won a playoff round. Not one best-of- seven series.

Some Hall of Fame greats failed to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy. Charles Barkley at least made the NBA Finals. Karl Malone and John Stockton twice met Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls in the league's June extravaganza.

Barkley, Malone, and Stockton were the best at their position for a prolonged period. For instance, Barkley and Malone were Most Valuable Players; Stockton is still the league's all-time assists leader. Yao, injury or not, has no such achievement on his resume.

The Hall of Fame is exclusive. Coaches, players, fans and journalists shouldn't have to argue that a player deserves entry. The player's career should do that.

Yet, since word of his retirement broke, coaches, players, fans, and journalists have been arguing on behalf of Yao the player.

This is the greatest indicator that Yao is not a Hall of Fame player. 

He is, however, a Hall of Fame ambassador, functioning as the bridge between the NBA and the lucrative Chinese market. There's no disputing Yao's influence on the business of basketball.

For this, Yao the ambassador should have a place at the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts -just not in the players' section.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughs? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Breakdown of 2011 NBA Draft, Picks 1-10

Finally, the NBA Draft is here. The gossip, speculation, and home videos of mysterious Euro prospects is no more.

Below is how things officially unfolded in real time, with live analysis at the HoopsVibe News headquarters. So get at us with thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comment box below.

1) Kyrie Irving to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PG, 6-2, 181, Duke Blue Devils, Fr.

Pros: Irving is a good athlete, who uses his quickness and feel for the game to attack the basket. He’s smart, tough, and had little issue leading more experienced teammates during the NCAA tournament.

Cons:
While Irving is a good athlete, he isn’t explosive or big. And he missed much of his freshmen year with a toe injury. So the New Jersey native is a risk.

Fit: He'll be fine as long as he doesn't follow Baron Davis' training routine or try to replace that LeBron guy.

2) Derrick Williams to Minnesota Timberwolves.

Details: PF, 6-9, 248, Arizona Wildcats, So.

Pros:
He’s a pick-your-poison scorer. In his second season, Williams improved his ability to attack the basket, while also being able to knock down jump shots. This combination of skill and athleticism should make Williams a difficult match-up for opposing defenses.    

Cons:
Some feel Williams is a ‘tweener’, stuck between the 3 and 4 spots. And they’re unsure if his athleticism can compensate for his 6-9 height,   

Fit: Is there room for Kevin Love, Mike Beasley, and Williams in the frontcourt?

3) Enis Kanter to Utah Jazz.

Details: C, 6-10, 260, Turkey, 19 years of age.

Pros: Strong, skilled, and tough is how most describe Kanter. His polished game and physical tools should make a pretty good NBA player.

Cons: Kanter is undersized and not especially explosive for a five-man. And can his knee hold up to the grind of an NBA season?

Fit: His strong IQ and blue-collar approach makes him perfect for the Jazz.

4) Tristan Thompson to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PF, 6-9, 225, University of Texas, Fr.

Pros: Thompson should have a nice NBA career because of his wingspan, improving body, and lefty skill-set. His energy and work on the glass is also a plus.

Cons: Despite shedding baby fat, Thompson is still a little undersized to handle NBA power forwards. 

Fit: The Canadian can play, but going fourth overall was a surprise. He'll need time to develop his offensive game for the Cavs.

5) Jonas Valanciunas to Toronto Raptors

Details: PF, 6-10, 230, Lithuania, 18 years old.

Pros: Valanciunas is an energetic player, who is active on the offensive glass and gets his share of put-back points. At 18, some believe he has the most upside of any player in the draft.

Cons: He’s extremely raw and could take several years before making an impact.

Fit: Of course, GM Bryan Colangelo had to take a Euro. But the young Lithuanian has a chance to be real good.

6) Jan Vesely to Washington Wizards.

Details: PF, 6-11, 240, Czech Republic, 21 years old.

Pros: He’s not your typical Euro. Long, athletic, and explosive, Vesely loves to get up the floor and throw down monster jams. His length and versatility makes him a force on both ends of the floor.

Cons: Vesely needs to extend his offensive range beyond put-backs and highlight reel jams.

Fit: Strap up Washington. This kid is a walking highlight reel.

7) Bismack Biyombo to Sacramento Kings (picking for Charlotte Bobcats).

Details: PF, 6-9, 243, Congo, 19 years old.

Pros: He’s an athlete. Biyombo has scouts drooling with his frame, wingspan, leaping ability, and quickness.

Cons: But he’s raw. Many of those same scouts are worried about his lack of skill and age.

Fit: Some say he couldn't score if locked in a gym by himself. He also needs to negotiate a buyout with his FIBA club. But he’s an incredible athlete.

8) Brandon Knight to Detroit Pistons.

Details: PG/SG, 6-3, 177, Kentucky University, So.

Pros: Knight was always a terrific scorer, but showed he could involve others towards the end of his season at Kentucky. His athleticism and outside range makes him a strong prospect. 

Cons: Some feel he’s more of a shooting guard than a natural point guard.

Fit: Hopefully, he survives a Piston team that was highly dysfunctional in 2011.

9) Kemba Walker to Charlotte Bobcats.

Details: PG, 6-1, 172, University of Connecticut, Jr.

Pros: Walker has the ‘quicks’ to get to the basket and can also punish sagging defenders with his much-improved jumper. This made him unstoppable during his terrific 2011 season at UCONN.  
 
Cons: Well, size. Walker plays like a shooting guard, but has the body of a point guard.

Fit: Walker will bring leadership and confidence to Michael Jordan's Bobcats.

10) Jimmer Fredette to Sacramento Kings.

Details: PG, 6-2, 190, Bringham Young Unviersity, Sr.

Pros: He's a magical shooter with a cult-like following at Bringham Young University. 

Cons: Can he defend NBA point guards? Is he a point guard? 

Fit: Fredette`s range will mesh nicely with Tyreke Evans and the offensive-minded Kings.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard?

The Dwight Howard sweepstakes have begun. Golden State offered Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh. Unlikely that'll get it done.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

The Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic can deny rumors they’re considering swapping Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard. The evidence suggests otherwise, though.

New Warriors owner Joe Lacob, when he bought the club, didn’t give Ellis a ringing endorsement. While GM Larry Riley would only admit the team isn’t shopping their combo guard.

Lacob and rookie coach Mark Jackson want to change the losing culture surrounding the club. Right or wrong, fair or not, they may trade Ellis to achieve this.

Meanwhile, Howard has refused to sign an extension with the Magic. He wants to exercise a player’s option next July and become a free agent.

Howard knows Magic GM Otis Smith can’t let this occur. Not for a second. Smith, contrary to what he publicly claims, can’t risk his franchise face walking and getting nothing back.

So the clock is ticking. Like the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz with Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams, Smith has to cut a deal.  

It’s no shock the Warriors and Magic have talked trade. Here’s the real question: what happens next?

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen suggested, on ESPN Radio’s Mike And Mike In the Morning, that LeBron James, and not his former teammate, Michael Jordan, could end up being the greatest all-around player the league has ever seen.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game,” Pippen said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Repeat.

While you’re meditating please remember Scottie Pippen didn’t totally go there. He didn’t say LeBron James was better than Michael Jordan.

Pippen sure came close, though.

He said James may be a greater all-around player because of athleticism and size. And he said James can a dominate game in more ways than Jordan.

Purists will be offended. After all, Jordan has six championship rings. James has none. Jordan transcended basketball. James gave basketball a bad name with The Decision.

Still, Pippen, in theory, may have a point. James’ rare combination of size, speed, skill, and power gives him a unique advantage over any player to ever grace an NBA floor.   

When it’s all said and done, James may eventually be in the same sentence as Jordan. Not now, though.

Here’s the reality: James lacks Jordan’s will and competitiveness. Remember, Jordan overcame the Detroit Pistons’ harsh tactics; upset Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals; handled Clyde the Glyde and Rip City; twice withstood the best John Stockton and Karl Malone, two Hall of Famers, could offer; and defeated Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the Seattle Sonics.

James has done nothing of the sort. Yet.

Let’s be fair: Jordan had help. It’s interesting his ‘help’ (Pippen) is so quick to deflect praise away from his former teammate and supposed friend towards others.

Maybe Pippen’s statement says more about the rivalry between him and Jordan, and less about James’ place in the game.

--Oly Sandor.

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

The 2011 Hoopties
Friday , Apr , 15 , 2011 J.N.

The 2011 Hoopties

It’s that time again for the regular season end awards just like any other television sports show. It is time to pass out the awards. Rather than giving awards for the usual categories such as Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year….you get the picture…..let’s focus on categories that truly need to be highlighted – categories that I make up! Who cares about those other official awards anyway? They’re already locked up.
 

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Sunday , Apr , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: George Hill turns Earl Watson into a youtube clip

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The San Antonio Spurs are wobbling a little, as they head into the playoffs.

So Gregg Popovich’s club are hoping youngsters like George Hill can provide energy in the second season. And Hill did exactly that yesterday with an ‘epic flush’ on the Utah Jazz’s Earl Watson.

Watch the video and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Kris Humphries succeeding because of ‘Kim Kardashian Effect’?

He also just happens to be dating reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Calling it the “Kim Kardashian Effect”, many can’t help but notice the correlation between Humphries’ success this season and his recent romance. “You know, it’s interesting. Just being around her, seeing how hard she works, and everyone in her family and what they do, it’s motivating for me,” Humphries said. “I want to be the best that I can be. I wouldn’t say it’s the only reason I’ve had a great year, but it definitely factors into that.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps it’s her brilliant reality television show. Perhaps it’s her sensational musical talent. Perhaps it’s something else like her work ethic –yeah, that’s it, really.

Jokes aside, New Jersey Nets big Kris Humphries believes Kim Kardashian’s dedication to her craft, whatever that is, has had a positive influence on his basketball career.

After a so-so run with the Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors, and Dallas Mavericks, Humphries found his way with the Nets once he hooked up with the curvy celebrity.

Interestingly enough, many athletes struggle once their personal life becomes fodder for TMZ. Not Humphries, though. The opposite has occurred.
 
The 'Kim Kardashian Effect' has Humphries playing well, happy, and a possible candidate for Most Improved Player. 

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Sunday , Apr , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Jerry Sloan open to coaching again in NBA?

Jerry Sloan declared "I'm not looking for another job" when he resigned in February as Utah's coach after 23 seasons there, but he hasn't necessarily retired for good.

Sloan would listen if another team approached him, according to a source who has spoken to Sloan recently, and would seriously consider the right situation. But he won't actively seek another job or have anyone campaign for him. Almost alone among NBA coaches, Sloan, who turned 69 a week ago, doesn't have an agent.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps Todd Smith, known to the masses as Ladies Love Cool James, put it best: ‘don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years’.

On the surface, LL Cool J and Jerry Sloan have nothing in common. Like that iconic line from Momma Said Knock You Out, Sloan reportedly has interest in returning to what he has done for years.

(Come on, man ...)

Of course, the veteran coach stepped away from the Utah Jazz earlier this year. The Salt Lake City sideline had been home for 20 plus seasons.

There were rumors about why he left: some said he was burnt out; some said he was tired of his situation; some speculated that superstar point guard Deron Williams had become too much too handle.

Whatever the case, Sloan is interested in returning from his temporary hiatus. Not making a comeback.

But would Sloan’s shtick succeed with another team?

Utah seemed the perfect fit. Sloan had the unconditional support of ownership. Until Williams, players either got in line or got out. Such an approach might fail in another market with established stars or superstars.  

So a comeback –sorry a return- may not happen, even if Sloan has been coaching for years. This is a reflection on the sad state of the NBA, not on Sloan.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Deron Williams. The most hated man in Utah Jazz history?
Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 J.N.

Deron Williams. The most hated man in Utah Jazz history?

Charles Barkley once said, “I may be wrong, but I doubt it.” How is it like to live the life of the most hated person in any community? This sounds like a good tag line for a film. This was once held by Carlos Boozer who was rumored to milk injuries. Deron was the sweetest angel you can ever find. How things done changed. D-Wills is rocking the New Jersey Nets jersey? What, I don’t even…let me stomach this for a bit.

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Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard for Anthony or Stoudemire?

It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the New York Knicks make a play for Dwight Howard next season, perhaps offering either Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony at trade deadline.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did you enjoy Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire battling Dwight Howard last night?

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the main characters in yesterday’s epic battle between the Knicks and Magic could switch places. Reports indicate the Magic would consider sending Howard to the Knicks for Anthony or Stoudemire.

A few thoughts:

1) The Howard rumors will continue to fly because he can opt-out of his contract at the end of 2012 and become an unrestricted free agent.

No matter how much Howard tries to defuse rumors, the feeling is he wants to bolt Orlando for a larger market. Like Los Angeles. Or New York.

The Magic have a dilemma. They could try re-signing Howard and risk having their top player as an unrestricted free agent without compensation.

(This would decimate the franchise. See the Cleveland Cavaliers. See the Toronto Raptors.)  

Or the Magic could concede that re-signing Howard would be tough in today’s era of super-teams and move him. Cutting their losses would bring back some assets.

(See the Denver Nuggets. See the Utah Jazz.)   

2) Anthony and Stoudemire are an awkward pairing. Their partnership doesn’t seem natural. Given time, things will improve. The supporting cast will be upgraded; a training camp together will make a difference.

Here’s the question for Knick fans: would Howard with Anthony or Stoudemire be superior to Anthony and Stoudemire?

3) The new Collective Bargaining Agreement to be negotiated between players and owners this summer could sideswipe all plans.

Small market owners may try to eliminate the super-team trend that’s permeating the NBA. They could gain the ability to keep star players by using an NFL-style franchise tag.

So the Magic could hang onto Howard –whether he likes it or not- by slapping him with the franchise player tag.

--Oly Sandor.

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