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Friday , Mar , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Has David West played his last game for Hornets?

The New Orleans Hornets gutted out a 121-117 overtime victory over Utah here Thursday night, but in the process may have lost power forward David West for an extended period of time with a left knee injury.

West sustained what is being termed as “left knee trauma” on a driving slam dunk with 22.5 to go in regulation. West landed awkwardly on his left leg and his knee buckled under him. Team medical staff came out and he was eventually taken off the floor in a wheelchair.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who would’ve thought Thursday’s clash between the New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz would have everything?

There were buzzer-beaters, graceful flip-shots from ungraceful power forwards, and injuries.

Unfortunately, Emeka Okafor’s game-tying prayer off the glass and Paul Millsap’s underhand scoop were overshadowed by David West’s season ending knee injury.

West, who was 9-for-16 with 20 points, went down hard after missing a dunk attempt late in the fourth quarter. Today, reports indicate he has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs.

Fortunately, the Hornets acquired Carl Landry at the trade deadline. In the short term, the undersized Landry should replace West’s points and rebounds, and keep the club in the playoff race.

(The Hornets currently sit at seventh in the Western Conference. They have a three game edge over the ninth place Houston Rockets, with the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz hot on their trail.)

An interesting thought: has West played his last game for the Hornets?

He was expected to opt-out of his contract and hit free agency July 1st. Perhaps the uncertainty surrounding the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and an injury changes West’s plans.

The Hornets have had an ‘interesting’ year: there was Chris Paul’s off-season trade demand; the team got off to a blazing start under rookie coach Monty Williams; then there were the mid-season speed bumps; the NBA, of course, stepped in and bought the team, prompting rumors about their future in The Big Easy.

Now West, their second leading scorer, is done. What else can happen?

--Oly Sandor.


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

 

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Tuesday , Mar , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Al Jefferson praises Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who says the youth of today don't respect their elders?

The Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson is a soft-spoken gentleman, and has no problem paying homage to established superstars like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on the interview with Jefferson.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul on Utah trading Deron Williams: ‘not a good look’

Chris Paul responded to the news of Utah trading Deron Williams with several less than flattering tags directed to the Jazz."Utah traded DWill?? #EpicFail #notagoodlook #trippin #cmonson," wrote Paul.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Actually Chris Paul, you commenting on another team and player’s business is an ‘EpicFail’.

You’d think one of the NBA’s premier point guards would know better or, at a minimum, have better things to do then going 'viral' on the Utah Jazz for dealing Deron Williams.

After all, his New Orleans Hornets are competing for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference and their future in The Bayou is uncertain.

Apparently this isn’t enough to occupy Paul’s time. He feels the need to speak up -in a manner befitting of a Twilight obsessed pre-teen- on the Jazz moving their franchise face.

To quote Paul: this is ‘notagoodlook’.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Will Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony trades force a lockout?

Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he made the move because of a "gut feeling" that he wouldn't be able to sign Williams to a long-term deal after next season. "If you look at what happened with Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland ... they all lost their marquee player and had very little if anything to show for it," Miller said. "This trade allows us to be competitive now and beyond the 2012 season."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could this be the trigger that pushes the NBA’s small market owners to demand wholesale changes to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial system?

Consider the Utah Jazz’s predicament. Their superstar and best player, Deron Williams, longed for bright lights, a big city, and a chance at a championship.

That wasn’t happening in Utah, so Williams likely informed management he was opting-out of his contract in July of 2012.

Translation: he was gone.

The Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months convincing Williams to stay. Of course, the end result wouldn’t have changed and the Jazz would’ve lost their prime asset without compensation.

Just like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Or, the Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months negotiating a trade. They’d be daily fodder for pundits and fans on-line and on-air. Maybe Conan O’Brien would get in on the act.

Just like the Denver Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony.

Neither situation was appealing, which led to the Jazz suddenly shipping Williams to the Nets for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and a pair of first round draft picks.

The Jazz did well, especially when considering Williams held all the cards, possessed all the leverage, and was hell-bent on using it. They were also lucky, though, because the Nets were willing to trade after losing out on Carmelo Anthony.

In four months, they –and the other small market owners- will get revenge. Much to the chagrin of the players, they’ll demand a hard cap, revenue sharing, and franchise player tags.

No more Anthony, Bosh, James, and Williams holding them hostage. And the looming lockout will be nasty, bitter, and long.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Feb , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Deron Williams force Jerry Sloan’s resignation?

Jerry Sloan resigned as head coach of the Jazz after several clashes with Deron Williams. Sloan and Williams clashed at halftime of Wednesday's loss to the Bulls. At least two members of the Jazz feared Sloan and Williams would physically fight, but the confrontation ended before reaching that point.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s some mystery surrounding Jerry Sloan’s departure from the Utah Jazz.

There shouldn’t be. Here’s what we know: the old school sideline boss and new school table-setter Deron Williams didn’t click. They never did, either.

Consider that Sloan rarely played Williams during his rookie year. Sloan had no issue publicly stating that his power point guard would never measure up to or equal his former point guard in John Stockton.

Bottom line: Sloan refused to appease and pamper Williams like so many coaches and organizations do today with their superstars. 

Williams felt slighted by his coach. For some time he had been miffed by the Jazz’s penny-pinching ways, and this once again spilled over Wednesday evening in an ugly confrontation.

Who knows if Sloan and Williams really wanted a piece of each other?

Sloan, even in his mid-sixties, isn’t someone you’d cross. Fortunately, Williams won’t have to. The superstar and free agent to be in 2012 won the war against his veteran coach.

Of course, you can’t help but feel something has changed with Sloan’s resignation. The last of a dying breed is gone.

Williams may be better after Sloan’s departure. But are the Jazz?
 
--Oly Sandor.

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

 
Report: Jerry Sloan to Retire
Thursday , Feb , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Jerry Sloan to Retire

Sources close to the organization are claiming that longtime Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has decided to retire and will make an announcement to that effect at a press conference later today. News of Jerry Sloan retiring will come as a shock to NBA observers for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that just three days ago he signed a one-year contract extension. At present no further details are available, although we will, of course, update this space as more information comes in.

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Sunday , Jan , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams on free agency: ‘I won’t be doing The Decision’

"What I've learned is, you don't go on TV and do The Decision." Williams said the other night in Newark, after the Jazz lost to the Nets. "So I won't be doing 'The Decision."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Add Deron Williams to the list of NBA superstars who have learned from LeBron James’ free agent follies.

There will be no soap opera, world tour, or sequel to The Decision. Williams is a top table-setter, and where he decides to spend the next portion of his career will be dramatic enough. ( For the record: Williams can become a free agent in July of 2012.)

Just a hunch: he won't stay with the Utah Jazz.

Williams is as competitive as Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant. He hates losing and the Jazz, while usually competitive, never have the pieces to win a championship.

Unfortunately, the small market Jazz will always the lack the resources to add premier talent, especially when compared to larger markets like the New York Knicks or L.A. Lakers.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement may level the playing field for small market clubs like Utah, but then there’s Salt Lake City. Superstars typically prefer bigger, sexier locations to maximize endorsements.

This will be too much for the Jazz to overcome. So it's how, not if, Williams leaves.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Dec , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves considered trading Kevin Love?

Kevin Love is making a name for himself in the NBA with his breakout season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

It turns out he's been on the Denver Nuggets' radar for quite some time. Nuggets coach George Karl said Wednesday night that the team asked Minnesota about trading for Love this summer. "I know there were inquiries," Karl said before the Nuggets played the Timberwolves. "In some of the meetings we talked and his name was out there. It never got close, I know that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The best trades are sometimes the ones you don’t make.

Case in point: the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Love. This summer, the Wolves made Love available and, according to the Denver Nuggets, took offers for him.

Thankfully, they didn’t move Love because he has improved from promising post to legit' superstar. Best of all, he’s become the face of this downtrodden franchise.

To be fair: perhaps the Wolves were justified in shopping Love, the current league leader in rebounding. Before this year, Love was often injured, out of shape, and shooting off his mouth via twitter.

Of course, the Timberwolves also had to decide between Love and Al Jefferson. Both were talented power forwards, and it became obvious a platoon system at the four-spot wouldn’t fly.

So Executive David Kahn listened to offers for both, kept Love, and dealt Jefferson to the Utah Jazz. It could have been the other way, though. Love changing area codes; Jefferson staying in The Frozen Tundra of Sota.

Whether by luck or design, the Timberwolves kept Love. And this is one decision they got right.

--Oly Sandor.

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

The Mailman Karl Malone’s All Time Rank- 3:10 to Utah
Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 J.N.

The Mailman Karl Malone’s All Time Rank- 3:10 to Utah

Utah Jazz’s Finest Karl Malone entered the Hall of Fame as another damn great player who did win an NBA title. I usually do not hold that against him since winning one is a team effort. However, as an individual, analysts and aficionados will have to count a championship ring less hand against him. Despite this, Malone remains a Hall of Famer and a helluva power forward.

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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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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Utah reacting not reflecting with acquisition of Al Jefferson

The Utah Jazz have quickly moved into the lead to acquire Al Jefferson and were actively working Monday night to complete a deal with Minnesota, according to NBA front-office sources. 

Sources told ESPN.com that the Jazz and Timberwolves are on the verge of completing a trade that would slot Jefferson's contract into the $14 million trade exception that Utah created earlier this week in its sign-and-trade deal with Chicago for Carlos Boozer.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Instead of reflecting they’re reacting.

Recently, the Utah Jazz lost co-star Carlos Boozer when the power forward became a free agent and inked a five year, $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.

While the Jazz had repaired their contentious relationship with ‘C-Booz’, they wisely decided against overpaying the undersized power forward, especially since Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko were on the roster.

So why the infatuation with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Al Jefferson?
 
Recent reports had the Jazz acting like the Portland Trail Blazers, and impulsively trying to acquire Jefferson, a good but hardly great post.

Jefferson is the kind of player who posts good number on a bad team. Like Tony Campbell, Cedric Ceballos, Armen Gilliam, and David West, he gets his when the first option.

This makes him perfect for fantasy leagues or stat-heads, however, he’s ill-equipped to be a key cog on a collectivist squad like the Jazz.

For instance, Jefferson struggled alongside Kevin Love in Minnesota, so how will he fit with fellow ‘fours’ like Millsap and AK-47? And why are the Wolves, one of the league’s worst teams, desperate to dump him?

The answer is simple: Jefferson is overrated and due an excessive $42 million over the next three years.

Of course, the Jazz’s system is so airtight and concise that Jefferson will probably be fine. And he does have considerable length, something that was missing with Boozer’s compact frame.

Still, Utah could have used the cap space to upgrade the shooting guard position instead of adding another power forward, especially one who has struggled with conditioning in Boston and Minnesota.

It’s surprising the great Jerry Sloan and Utah didn`t figure this out. Perhaps they were reacting and not reflecting on what`s already on their roster.

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

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Saturday , May , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Could Paul Millsap Leave Utah if Boozer Re-signs?

Jazz forward Paul Millsap could become a starter next season if Carlos Boozer leaves via free agency.

However, if Boozer re-signs the effective forward could be relegated to the bench for the foreseeable future.

When asked whether he'd request a trade should Boozer be re-signed, Millsap wasn't sure.

"I don't know what I would do," he said. "I would have to wait and see."

DeAngelo Simmons, Millsap's agent and uncle, doesn't think his client will ask for a way out of Utah either way.

"We haven't even thought that far," he said. "But ... I think (the Jazz) have been pretty fair with (Millsap) overall as far as playing time, and if the playing time is there, I don't see it really being a problem. If Boozer comes back, or if he goes, either which way, it should be fine, based on history," Simmons added. "Trade talk or get-me-out-of-here talk — I don't think that's something that's really even in (Millsap's) head at all."
 
OoB VI: So Many Sweeps, Elbowgate, Editing the Sports Guy Awards, and Barkley’s Latest Blunder
Thursday , May , 13 , 2010 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

OoB VI: So Many Sweeps, Elbowgate, Editing the Sports Guy Awards, and Barkley’s Latest Blunder

In episode VI of Out of Bounds, Marija Kero dissects LeBron's situation, edits the Sports Guy's list, recaps some draft duds and takes a friendly jab or two at Charles Barkley. There's also a cameo by Stephon Marbury's "Vaseline-eating ass". Let us know your thoughts on the topics, and ask Marija a question by leaving a comment below.

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The Utah Jazz Just Can’t Beat Kobe’s Lakers
Wednesday , May , 12 , 2010 J.N.

The Utah Jazz Just Can’t Beat Kobe’s Lakers

The Lakers outmuscled Deron Williams’ Jazz into submission by bringing out the brooms for a complete sweep. Laker fans are sitting pretty entering the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, which the Lakers should not have any problems against. The Jazz, however, are looking down a well that leads to an abyss. What’s next?

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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Media Bus Crashed into Carlos Boozer’s Escalade

After a thoroughly unpleasant evening of basketball, Carlos Boozer must have been fairly keen to climb into his ride and get home quickly. Sadly, that wasn't an option for him last night after his Jazz were eliminated from the playoffs by the Lakers in a sweep. Before he could make it to the parking lot from his post-game obligations, this tweet from the LAL media guy showed up:

 And the driver of the media bus just backed into one of the Jazz's Escalades... doin' damage on our way out of SLC!! - @tynowell

Shortly thereafter, this tweet followed:

 And.... it's Carlos Boozer's Escalade. That's an even more unfortunate ending to his evening. - @tynowell

Ugh. Sorry, Carlos.

 

 

 
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Monday , Apr , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony: I Can’t Do this by Myself

In a 117-106 loss to Utah that put the Nuggets on the brink of elimination from the playoffs, Denver looked like the same frustrating franchise it has been for most of Anthony's career.

If Melo can't do it, nobody can.

"I'm trying, I'm trying to beat them. I'm trying to do everything I can in my power to beat the Jazz," Anthony said Sunday. "But, at the end of the day, I need some help. I'm not sitting here pointing fingers or nothing. As a unit, we've got to do this together. I can't do this by myself."

The strain of having to do it all for a Nuggets team that doesn't have the right stuff erupted late in the first half, when Anthony loudly chastised teammate Chris Andersen on the bench for taking an ill-advised outside jump shot that clanked.

"I'm in a battle. I don't have time to worry about people's feelings right now," Anthony said. "I'm trying to win." 

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Tuesday , Apr , 20 , 2010 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

The Knicks Chick on Why the Celtics Are Going Home and the First-Round Match-ups

HoopsVibe is proud to welcome Marija Kero, better known to many of you as The Knicks Chick, to the team. Marija will be checking in with videoblogs covering everything from her beloved Knicks to Ron Artest's latest hair-related mishap. In her first piece, Marija shares her thoughts on Boston's bad temper, the surging Mavs and the ghosts of NYK past appearing in the postseason. 

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Tuesday , Mar , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Boozer: I Think LeBron Is Going to Stay

Free-agent-to-be Carlos Boozer sounded intrigued about joining Mike D'Antoni's Knicks, but believes if he comes to New York, it won't be in a star tandem with LeBron James.

Boozer and James were Cleveland teammates for King James' rookie year. Boozer left Cleveland the first chance he got -- for a multi-year contract with Utah in 2004. But Boozer doesn't think James will leave his hometown.

"I think LeBron's going to stay," Boozer said before scoring 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting with 14 rebounds in Utah's 103-98 victory last night over the Knicks at EnergySolutions Arena.

"That's my gut. They're doing everything they can to build him a championship. His biggest thing is winning a ring. I think his best chance to win a ring is probably where he's at." 

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Tuesday , Mar , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Carlos Boozer Praises Mike D’Antoni

Surely, Boozer, who played for D'Antoni at the Olympics, is on the Knick list.

"I love D'Antoni, he's the dope," Boozer said. "Spending time with him in the Olympics, his offensive mindset is unbelievable. He's got the best plays I've ever been around -- on a whim. It's like rappers when they come out on the top of the dome with quotes. He's got plays in the back of his head with plays for that moment."

D'Antoni said he was reluctant to talk about Boozer because of tampering, saying only, "Anyone on the US Olympic team is one of the top 20 players in the game. He's definitely up there."

Even though Boozer got snubbed from the All-Star Game, the chances of the former Duke NCAA champion re-signing with the Jazz is stronger than when the season started. Utah is a Western Conference force again, with a 48-26 record, in fourth place, ready to make the playoffs for the 24th time in 27 years. That is an astounding stretch considering the Knicks, after being mathematically eliminated Sunday night, having missed postseason eight of the last nine years.
 
Jazz Isn’t Dead, It’s Undead
Tuesday , Mar , 23 , 2010 Jesse Andrews

Jazz Isn’t Dead, It’s Undead

The German concept of the uncanny, the unheimlich, popularized by Freud but more or less traceable to the dusky origins of the German national character, describes the soulsickening coexistence of the familiar and the foreign—that which we think we know, playing home to that which we are sure we don't.  The zombie; the uncomfortably lifelike robot; the ghost in the shell.  Enter the Utah Jazz.

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