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Top 5 Alley Oop Combos of All-Time
Monday , Sep , 09 , 2013 HoopsVibe News

Top 5 Alley Oop Combos of All-Time

"We was the original Lob City."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: With the induction of Gary Payton into the Hall-of-Fame, we remember the original Lob City combo.

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Kevin Durant breaks Vince Carter’s ankles!
Tuesday , Mar , 19 , 2013 Matt Formica

Kevin Durant breaks Vince Carter’s ankles!

Kevin Durant may be tall and lengthy, but the dude still has ridiculous handles.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  Vince Carter probably needed to ice his ankles this weekend after Kevin Durant broke them.

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Top 5 Slam Dunk Contests
Wednesday , Feb , 13 , 2013 Paul Eide

Top 5 Slam Dunk Contests

What images leap to your mind when you hear the phrase, "Greatest dunk contest ever?"

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: There have certainly been some epic match-ups that made this even the centerpiece of the NBA's All-Star Weekend.

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Tuesday , Mar , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Gone Too Far: Why Orlando MUST trade Dwight Howard

One source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Magic have promised Howard that they will add a quality player before Thursday's deadline and that Howard can decide the fate of both GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy at the end of the season if he signs an extension.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a popular television show called Intervention where families confront a sick individual battling an addiction.

Perhaps you have seen it on A&E. Perhaps not.

Hopefully, someone in the Orlando Magic ownership group has seen Intervention. And hopefully, they confront President Alex Martin about his disease: appeasing Dwight Howard.

Sure, Howard is the top center in the NBA, but he has yet to win a championship, an MVP trophy, or even develop a go-to move on the offensive end.

He is raw, immature, and has handled his pending free agency like a teen pop diva. Annoying teen crooner Justin Beiber is more professional than Howard.

Still, the Magic continue to give Howard whatever he likes, or whatever they think he’ll like in order to have him stay.

They’ve assumed several bad contracts in an attempt to give Howard a worthy supporting cast. Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu all backfired and destroyed the team's financial flexibility.

Recent reports have surfaced that the Magic are chasing Monta Ellis because they think a shot-happy, crass combo guard will convince Howard to play through 2013 and sign a long-term extension.

HoopsVibe has given our opinion on Ellis before. He's not the answer.

Today, reports are surfacing that Magic President Alex Martin has told Howard he can decide the fate of coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith.

Sadly, the inmate is now running the entire asylum.

Van Gundy and Smith may deserve to be fired. This is not Howard’s decision to make, though.  He is the player. Van Gundy is the coach. Smith is the manager.

If Martin offered to fire Van Gundy and Smith to appease Howard, then a point of no return has been established.

Simply put, Howard can't return. Suppose he signed an extension with the Magic. No coach, executive, or teammate would criticize him because doing so may get them fired, traded, or released.

Bottom line: good organizations do not operate in such a fashion.

So Magic ownership must intervene. They must empower Smith to immediately get the best possible package for Howard - even if that’s 80 or 90 cents on the dollar - because keeping him would encourage dysfunction.

Then ownership must review how the entire organization, top to bottom, has handled 'Howard-gate' and make changes. Appeasing an NBA superstar is a disease that must be cured.

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

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Vince Carter ‘posterizes’ Emeka Okafor like it’s 1999

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Say what?

I thought Vince Carter only faded-away and settled for jumpers.

I thought Vince Carter stopped attacking the hoop during his time in New Jersey.

I thought Vince Carter had decided to cruise through his career and not provide highlights.

Well, the former bright light of the NBA, Slam Dunk Champion, and perennial All-Star teased us with a facial on the New Orleans Hornets’ Emeka Okafor that was reminiscent of 1999. Click the video and watch the 'VC' flashback.



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

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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Why Yi? Did Mavericks miss mark with Chinese star?

The Dallas Mavericks are about to sign a player they've long coveted, reaching terms Saturday on a one-year contract with free-agent forward Yi Jianlian, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I like Yi. I, however, don't like him on the Dallas Mavericks.

The four-man is tall, skilled, and talented, which means he could be a rotation player for most teams.

But the Mavericks are different than most. The world champions do not need another skilled guy like Yi, as they recently added Vince Carter and Lamar Odom.

Here's what they do need: a grimy, blue-collar big to fill part of the void created by Tyson Chandler's departure to the New York Knicks.

Chandler brought an intensity, especially on the defensive end, that took the Mavericks from good to great. He was a one-man zone that solidified the back-end for Coach Rick Carlisle.

That's gone. And since they haven't replaced Chandler, so are the Mavericks' chances of repeating.

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

 

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Tuesday , Dec , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dirk Nowtizki: Dallas is ‘Old’, ‘Slow’ and ‘Out of Shape’

“We look old and slow and out of shape — a bad combination,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 20 points and sat out the entire fourth quarter for a second straight game, yet another indication of how bad things are going. “I still think this team has a lot of potential. But we have to turn the corner.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dirk Nowitzki is right. The Dallas Mavericks are old, slow, and out of shape.

This, however, is not their greatest problem. Their greatest problem is a lack of enthusiasm.

Tyson Chandler, for all his limits on the offensive end, is a terrific defensive player, who anchored and dominated the paint for Rick Carlisle’s squad. J.J. Barea was a spunky scorer, who changed the energy, flow, and feel of every game he played in. 

Both were key to the Mavericks winning the NBA Title. And both are gone.

Chandler inked a four year, $58 million pact with the New York Knicks, while Barea accepted the Minnesota Timberwolves multi-year pact for $19 million.

Their replacements: Vince Carter and Lamar Odom.

Carter and Odom are talented, but don’t bring the second effort or consistency that Chandler and Barea did.

For instance, Carter once admitted in an interview that he didn’t always give his all for the Toronto Raptors. Odom seems more interested in his career as a reality TV star than playing basketball.

So getting younger, faster, and in shape is only part of the solution for Dallas. They need true replacements for Chandler and Barea.

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

In Dallas, It’s Optimism vs. Anxiety
Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Paul Eide

In Dallas, It’s Optimism vs. Anxiety

 

From the minute they won the NBA title last season, the general consensus amongst NBA fans was that the Dallas Mavericks chances of winning a second title in a row were limited. The phrase “one and done” came to mind and the Mavs were dismissed as a "flash in the pan" where everything just happened to line up for them to win.
 
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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Vince Carter to Mavericks?

Carter waived Friday by Phoenix so Suns could buy out his $18 mil salary for $4 mil. Mavs quickly into advanced talks w/VC for vet depth.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t like it.

With the signing of Vince Carter and departure of Tyson Chandler, the world champion Dallas Mavericks have become a softer, perimeter team.

Carter, of course, has underachieved. Too often, he shies away from contact, refuses to do the all-important little things, and settles for low percentage shots.

The Mavericks provide an opportunity for the former All-Star to salvage his career -or what is left of it.

Will he grab the opportunity, though?

Give Chandler his due. Sure, his career had been mixed, but the seven-foot giant gave the Mavericks an inside, defensive presence that was key in winning a championship.

That element, however, is gone. Chandler is a Knick; Carter is on the verge of becoming a Maverick. And the world champions have taken a step back in the Western Conference.

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

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Monday , Dec , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Suns to buyout Carter?

The Phoenix Suns will move forward without Vince Carter on their roster. Carter’s full $18 million salary for this season would have been guaranteed if not released within 72 hours of the official start of free agency.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In Toronto, he was touted as the face of the NBA. In New Jersey, he was a perennial All-Star. In Orlando, he was tabbed as the final piece of the puzzle.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Sometime over the next few days, the Phoenix Suns are expected to exercise the opt-out clause on the final year of Vince Carter’s contract.

The club would rather pay the $4 million buyout and have Carter walk then fork out $18 million for the 2012 season.

Carter will become a free agent. And there will be interest in his services, however, he’ll be lucky to get the Mid Level Exception.

After all, Carter’s days as a high flyer are over. Too often, he avoids contact and settles for perimeter fade-aways and off balance jump shots.

The next few days provide Carter a final shot at salvaging something from a mostly disappointing career.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Monday , Nov , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bulls to sign Vince Carter or Rip Haimlton?

"I think that the Bulls should be very busy, they should look at Rip Hamilton who may be released from Detroit," Gill said. "Vince Carter is an older player, but still has a lot left in the tank. The Bulls need an upgrade at 2-guard, which Vince Carter can fill."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Memo to the Chicago Bulls. Don’t sign Vince Carter -even if he’s available at a low wage.

Yes, the Chicago Bulls need a scorer to take pressure off 2011 MVP Derrick Rose, however, Carter is not the answer.

The former Slam Dunk Champ’ and All-Star is no longer Half-Man, Half Amazing. The days of Kenny Smith screaming ‘it’s ova’ have passed.

Remember, Carter flopped with Orlando, and lost his starting job to the solid-but-hardly spectacular Jared Dudely in Phoenix.

So, what could Carter offer Chicago?

Well, not much. The once athletic swing is too much of a perimeter player, often refusing to attack the basket and settling for low percentage fade-aways.

The Bulls would be better off pouncing on Rip Hamilton once he’s waived by the Detroit Pistons as part of the amnesty provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Hamilton, provided he's happy, can score and is an upgrade over Carter on defense.

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

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Final
Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Paul Eide

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Final

The readers have spoken! Of all the comments and emails I received the following four names kept coming up, repeatedly. And can anyone say that any of these dunkers are really a surprise?

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Greatest Slam Dunk Contest Champion Ever- Part Two
Tuesday , Sep , 13 , 2011 Paul Eide

Greatest Slam Dunk Contest Champion Ever- Part Two

Read the first part of this article here. In ranking these champions, I want to completely exclude their overall skill as basketball players, and focus solely on their ability to dunk the basketball. Also, I think era in which they were dunking in is very significant, as is height. With those parameters laid out, let me throw the second five names at you, in no particular order. Of these five, I will rank them by reader comments via Hoopsvibe.com, Facebook and private emails. The player who gets the most vote moves into the “Final Four” of great dunkers, from which a mythical champ will be crowned; open wide, here they come!!

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Tracy McGrady’s NBA Legacy – When was he ever underrated?
Tuesday , Sep , 06 , 2011 J.N.

Tracy McGrady’s NBA Legacy – When was he ever underrated?

I’m laughing at the notion. Actually, everyone should be laughing because when the hell was Tracy McGrady ever underrated? We’re not talking about Mark Aguirre underrated here. Aguirre never made all NBA First teams and never averaged 32.1 points per game for a season. McGrady retired two years ago and the T-Mac today is nothing but a rusty old aging robot for the Detroit Pistons. I’m trying to give the idea a thought – was McGrady underrated at any point in his career? 

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Vince Carter’s NBA Legacy
Thursday , Aug , 18 , 2011 J.N.

Vince Carter’s NBA Legacy

I just watched a Youtube clip featuring Vince Carter slipping on a banana peel against the Charlotte Bobcats during a cross over move. I do not know what to make of it. He could have stepped on a wet spot. Yep, that’s what it was; a wet spot. Got it. I’m also taking it as a sign to think about his career. The high flying explosive Vince Carter disappeared after 2008 and currently does not live here. 

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash: ‘I prefer to stay in Phoenix’

As a veteran, Nash said an NBA championship ring was still a strong lure for him, but he said he would not change teams to achieve that goal.

"Every player wants the ring. We were very close to it many times. Changing teams may be a way. But I don't think I will join another team; I prefer to stay in Phoenix. Hopefully, we can go further next season," said Nash.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Steve, hope is not a strategy for you or your Phoenix Suns.

While visiting China on behalf of his sponsors, Nash told the assembled media his preference was to close his eyes, cross his fingers, and ’hope’ his Phoenix Suns achieve better results.

Lets be clear: what else can Nash do?

He’s too classy to publicly call out Robert Sarver, the Suns’ thrifty owner who refuses to spend on the necessary talent to contend, let alone win a championship.

He’s too classy to publicly call out GM Lon Babby, who first acquired Hedo Turkoglu and then sent the Turkish swing to Orlando for another underachiever in Vince Carter.

And he’s too classy to publicly call out his teammates, who seem a little too interested in taking shots at each other via the media.

Right now, Nash can only grin and bear the Suns. Of course, he can hope. Sadly, this is what the future Hall of Fame point guard has been reduced to.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jul , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can Vince Carter help a contender?

Vince Carter may realize that his time in Phoenix is pretty much up – how short it was – but he still wants to play ball. Not overseas.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no slam dunk that the former Slam Dunk Champion can average 12-15 points per night for a contender.

Right now, Vince Carter is an unrestricted free agent. Some feel ‘Half-Man, Half-Amazing’ can re-invent himself as a second-unit, game-changer for a contender.

I’m not so sure, though.

On a contender, everybody defends. No exceptions. Any contender would have reservations about adding a one-way scorer, like Carter, who resembles a statue in his own end.

Those who don’t defend on contenders –again, like Carter – find themselves on the bench. They stay on that bench for the season. They only play in a blowout or a pinch.

If Carter can’t get on the floor for meaningful minutes, how can he average 12-15 points per night for a contender?

Let’s suppose, for a minute, Carter gets a chance to prove his worth at training camp. He struggled to score with the up-and-down Phoenix Suns, even though defense was optional and Steve Nash, the league’s great playmaker, was setting-the-table.

With a contender, he won’t be a first, second, or third option. And Carter, in recent years, has stopped attacking the hoop, settling for fall-away shots, weak drives, and long-range jumpers.

The coaching staffs of contending teams know this. Or they’ll quickly discover this. So do the league’s best players. They’ll all tire of him quickly.

For Carter, it may be a one year deal for the minimum with a small market or nothing. Yes, nothing. The NBA’s great enigma will continue fading to black.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard upset Magic didn’t consult him on Arenas trade?

Howard found out when the rest of us did: once the trades were completed. Turns out, Howard had a problem with that.

“I wanted to be more part of the process a little more,” Howard said in a radio interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta. “I had to step out on the court and I wanted to make sure that the people I played with wanted to go out and play hard every night. My only issue was the fact that I didn’t really have a chance to be involved, but I think with the guys that we brought in we still have an excellent chance of winning, but we all have to be on the same page.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: How much input should a top employee get from management? Well, some –if you're an NBA superstar.
 
Dwight Howard, the All-World center for Orlando, is frustrated Magic GM Otis Smith didn't consult him before swapping Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades.

Perhaps Howard has a point. Perhaps he should have received a heads-up from Smith. After his comments, he and the team are both at fault.

Smith knows better. He knows the culture of the NBA. And he knows he must appease his superstar and make the required phone call to Howard before changing the make-up of the team.

Howard knows better, too. Phone call or not, he gains nothing by commenting publicly on a situation that is done. It sounds like he isn't pleased with his new teammates. And it sounds like he wants a say in personnel matters.

Of course, looming over Orlando like an ominous rain cloud is Howard's free agency. Next July he can opt-out of his contract, hit free agency, and sign where he likes.
 
Smith's failure to provide a supporting cast may well lead to Howard leaving Disney World and partnering with a superstar in a major market. Like Deron Williams and the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets.
 
No doubt about it, this complicates everything.

It will take years for the Magic to recover if Howard leaves. Their shiny stadium will no longer be full and, similair to when Shaquille O`Neal left for the Lakers, the Magic will become a have-not franchise.

So the supporting cast is a touchy subject.  And Howard's comments won't help.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in comment box below. 
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Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic interested in Carlos Boozer?

I've talked to people who believe that Chicago will shop Boozer, but you have to keep in mind that his stock is at an all-time low right now. He disappeared in the playoffs and there's a reason Chicago is talking about moving less than a year after signing him. It'll be tough to move him for anything of substance, especially considering how much he's owed over the next four years. With that said, if he does become available, the Orlando Magic will certainly express some level of interest.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carlos Boozer wouldn’t convince Dwight Howard to forgo free agency and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

So the Magic should think carefully about trading for Boozer, and assuming the remaining 4-years and $65 million on his big-ticket contract.

Boozer would be the latest in expensive, overpaid players who couldn’t help superstar Dwight Howard achieve his goal of an NBA championship.

There was Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter. This duo were then swapped mid-season for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades. All four failed miserably.

A frustrated Howard is now angling for a trade. If he doesn’t get it, the five-man will likely leave Orlando as a free agent in two seasons.

Howard would see Boozer for what he is -a talented but injury-prone player, who the Chicago Bulls dumped one season after signing him as a free agent.

It doesn't matter that Howard and Boozer are close, often hanging out together in the summer. Basketball is business. Friendship is personal.

Magic Executive Otis Smith should instead focus on Chris Paul. The New Orleans point guard, who can also become a free agent in July of 2012, is the type of talent that could convince Howard to stay.

Paul and Howard would form a terrific inside-outside duo. They’d attract other free agents, co-stars, and role players. They’d compete for years to come.

Almost every other player, including Boozer, won’t be enough for Howard to recommit to Orlando.

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
Farewell 1990s Basketball.
Saturday , May , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Farewell 1990s Basketball.

Tough to hear, but it is time. The stars, for anyone 26 years or older, drafted from the 1990s are fading away. Let’s use the present to say our goodbyes.   Father time usually corresponds with age and decline in play. This is it. We have been following these guys since middle school. Some of you guys must have been following them since elementary days. Do not feel old. Age is merely a number. Longevity in anything is actually a state of mind, but not in sports. For anyone living under a rock, Macho Man just died. With that said, let's appreciate these players while they are still alive.

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