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Friday , Jan , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: John Wall serves up the ultimate facial

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's been a miserable year in DC, but John Wall provides a glimmer of hope with a facial on John Lucas the third. 

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Tuesday , Jan , 10 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche: Wizards have tuned-out Flip Saunders

 "Flip is definitely doing his job," Blatche said. "I just don't feel like guys are listening and following behind what he says and what he wants us to do." Never a good sign, eight games into the season.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Andray Blatche will never learn. Ever.

For years, the Washington Wizards have hoped the talented forward would grow up and mature. That, however, seems unlikely.

Blatche's latest infraction: telling reporters the team has tuned-out veteran coach Flip Saunders.

This, of course, could be true, but nothing is gained by going public with such declarations. Saunders looks like a lame-duck sideline boss; Blatche's splotchy reputation takes another hit; and the Wizards once again look dysfunctional.

Bottom line: the Wizards are a miserable 0-8, so changes are coming. It's a when and a who, not an if.

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Tuesday , Dec , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche to Wizard teammates: ‘I need the ball in the paint’

“He probably was talking about me for the simple fact that I said I need the ball in the paint to be effective,” Blatche said. “You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jumpshots. Gimme the ball in the paint. That’s where I’m most effiective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp. I need the ball in the paint. I don’t wand to be the pick-and-pop guy I used to be because it’s not working for me.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be oh-so easy to criticize Andray Blatche’s comments, especially when considering his track record.

After all, Blatche, a talented post with the Washington Wizards, has a track record. Consider the following:

1) When he first entered the league, veterans mocked his poor professionalism. 2) He openly feuded with coach Flip Saunders over playing time. 3) He got angry at a teammate for grabbing a rebound that fell in his hands and prevented him from registering a triple-double. 4) And he fought teammate JaValee McGee outside the club.
   
This time it‘s different, though. Blatche is making sense.

When asked about Coach Flip Saunders’ comments following the Washington Wizards’ season opener, the young forward explained he wanted the ball in the post to balance the offense.

And he’s right. Blatche's ability to attract double-teams in the paint would provide open looks for young point guard John Wall and shooting guards Jordan Crawford and Nick Young.

The Wizards’ perimeter players - like Wall, a former first overall pick trying to make his mark in the NBA - wouldn’t have to force shots down the stretch.

Credit Blatche for taking a measured tone. Perhaps after years of struggles, he's learning.

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Monday , Dec , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Nick Young re-signs with Wizards for $3.7 million

Nick Young is expected to sign with the Wizards on Monday for their $3.7 million qualifying offer. The Wizards had hoped to sign Young to a long-term deal, but the scoring wing was seeking a salary of approximately $9 million per year.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He wanted $9 million. He got a $3.7 million qualifying offer from the Washington Wizards.

Nick Young, welcome to the new NBA, where salaries are only somewhat outrageous and the pay is for production instead of potential.

Young is talented and posted impressive scoring numbers last year (17.4 points per game), however, those numbers came on a poor Wizards side.

The USC product had little leverage as a restricted free agent, as most teams anticipated that the Wizards would match any offer.

Look for Young to have another banner year, and try for a homerun contract in free agency next summer.

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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ron Artest on Michael Jordan: ‘He didn’t support us’

Metta World Peace says his childhood hero Michael Jordan left the NBA players high and dry in the never-ending lockout drama -- by forgetting he was once one of them ... and acting like every other stubborn owner. Jordan -- the Charlotte Bobcats' big cheese -- is among a group of NBA owners who are taking a hard line with the players in the lockout negotiations. According to MWP, the players don't hate His Airness ... they just feel like, "he didn't support us when we most needed him."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s fair criticism. Especially considering it came from a man who prefers Metta World Peace to his government name.

Ron Artest, who recently changed his name to Metta World Peace, believes Michael Jordan should have done far more to bridge the gap in CBA negotiations between players and owners.

Jordan, of course, was the superstar many current NBA players grew up watching and following. And Jordan, of course, was the reason many of them make the money they do today.

And Jordan, of course, was dedicated to the Players Union, once telling former Washington owner Abe Pollin he should sell the Wizards if couldn’t make a profit.

That’s a distant memory.

The same Jordan is now a Hawk. He owns the small market Charlotte Bobcats. More than any owner, he’s pushing to destroy the Players Union in negotiations.

Winning isn’t enough. He wants total victory; to destroy the same Players Union he benefited from by 50 points.

For instance, Jordan wants the owners to have a 53% share of Basketball Related Income and won’t concede on system issues like a hard-cap.

Instead of using his unique experiences to bring players and owners together, Jordan’s stinginess, hypocrisy, and hard-line approach is driving the two sides apart.

Once again, The Greatest of all Time is showing his true colours. And current players aren`t impressed with what they`re seeing.

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Saturday , Nov , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan: A Hardline Hypocrite?

A group of between 10 and 14 owners, led by Michael Jordan, is promising to oppose any deal that gives players more than 50 percent of revenue. This group of owners wants the players' share of BRI not to exceed 47 percent and was upset when the NBA proposed a 50-50 split.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Jordan Rules live on.

Years ago, Sam Smith, the legendary beat writer for the Chicago Bulls, wrote a best-selling book called The Jordan Rules, detailing how Michael Jordan was, a hypocrite.

Yes, he was the greatest ever. And yes, he was the most recognized person in the world.

He had flaws, though. According to Smith, Jordan worried more about scoring than winning, struggled with teammates, and operated by his rules.

Smith’s view was reinforced during the lockout of 1998 when Jordan told Washington Wizards’ owner Abe Pollin to sell his team if he can’t profit.

Of course, Jordan became an owner a few years later -with Pollin’s Wizards, too!

Today, Jordan has a controlling share of the struggling Charlotte Bobcats. The man who told Pollin to sell if he can’t make money is the league’s greatest Hawk, refusing to compromise in negotiations.

Jordan is opposed to a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. He, and other small market owners, want a 53% share.

Why is Jordan such a hardliner? Like Pollin, he can’t profit.

However, Jordan the owner won’t listen to Jordan the player and sell. Different rules still exist when you're The Greatest of all Time.

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Sunday , Oct , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jordan Crawford: ‘I feel like I’m better than’ Michael Jordan

"When I'm done playing, I don't want people to say, Michael Jordan is the best player. I want that to be me. That's how I am. That's how I was built."  And he's got some support in his opinion. "I feel like I'm better than him, anyway," he said. "My mom is going to say I'm better than him."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Jordan Crawford, I wish you luck. You’ll need it.

The Washington Wizards combo guard recently declared that he believes he can surpass the great Michael Jordan in basketball prowess.

Translation: he doesn’t want to Be Like Mike. He thinks he can Be Better Than Mike.

I’m all for ambition, however, Crawford’s statements are ludicrous, bizarre, and unattainable. There is one ‘MJ’. And Crawford, while talented and engaging, will never match the career of perhaps the greatest player of all time.

Worst of all, Crawford ignored the reporter, who gave him the opportunity to clarify his comments, and made things worse by continuing to boast.

Now the media will focus on Wizards` young and somewhat certifiable talent.

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

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Sunday , Oct , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: owners, not players, to blame for lockout

“It’s very sad, but everybody knows it’s not our fault,” the Chicago Bulls point guard and reigning NBA most valuable player said Saturday. “If it was up to us we’d be out there playing. I think that is wrong and I know they could easily take care of it.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t think the players or their union get it. Fault doesn’t matter. Leverage does.

Currently, the owners have leverage in negotiations and intend on using it to right and correct the league’s habit of overpaying their middle class.

The list of mistakes is long and dubious. However, three stand out:

1) Eddy Curry. The puffy post received $33 million from the New York Knicks to play in just 33 games over the last three seasons.

2) Gilbert Arenas. Despite having few suitors, an eccentric personality, and creaky knees, The Hibachi was give a six-year, $111 million contract courtesy of the Washington Wizards.

It’s worth noting this was at least $20 million more than any other team was willing to pay and Arenas claims he left money on the table with the Wizards.

3) Rashard Lewis. Most teams would like a stretch four who can produce 12-15 points per game, however, they wouldn’t want to pay him over $20 million per season.

The Orlando Magic and they got one good season for Lewis before trading him to Washington for, wait for it, Arenas.

There are dozens of other mistakes. Of course, this, like Rose says, is on the owners for misjudging talent and empowering their executives to pay players like the money was endless.

It isn’t.

The economy has changed. Many - especially in smaller, have-not markets - feel the NBA isn’t worth their disposable income, so owners must have a full scale correction.

This means a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. This means a re-do of system issues. And this means the pendulum swings back in favour of the owners. 

Fault doesn’t matter in such a charged climate. Only leverage does. And the players, who have none, are learning this the hard way.

--O. Sandor.

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Evaluating Michael Jordan’s Final Season
Sunday , Oct , 16 , 2011 Paul Eide

Evaluating Michael Jordan’s Final Season

One thing I often hear in regards to Michael Jordan is how the numbers he put up in his final season were done at the expense of his team, the Washington Wizards. That Jordan was old and looked it, hanging on just long enough to average 20 ppg. That it was a shtick because he was a part owner and head of the Wizards basketball operations. And finally, that it was an ego driven move that no one other than Jordan benefited from.

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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Union mocks Javale McGee’s comment about ‘folding’

In a news conference later, union President Derek Fisher didn’t appear to be ruffled by what McGee said. “The person that spent the least amount of time in the room can’t make that statement,” Fisher said. “He’s in no position to make that statement on behalf of the group.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Remember the ribbing JaVale McGee took when his mum smooched with judges at the Slam Dunk Contest?

Or, the criticism he took for fighting Washington Wizards teammate Andray Blatche outside a DC nightclub?

Well, that’s nothing.

The Wizards forward is facing heat for comments he made that some NBA players were prepared to fold, take the owners’ current offer, and end the work stoppage.

His union brethren responded rather viscously, saying McGee was in no position to make such comments.

This brings up an interesting aside: as this dispute drags on certain players, like McGee, will speak out of turn.

Will they face a backlash on-court from their peers when the work dispute is solved? And how will they be received by teammates in their own locker room?

Certainly McGee is being made an example of. The message is clear: keep quiet or face consequences.

--O.Sandor.


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The MOST Underrated Player from the 1990s. Who is this guy?
Sunday , Oct , 02 , 2011 J.N.

The MOST Underrated Player from the 1990s. Who is this guy?

It’s tough being quiet. Most of the time, you just do not think you need to say anything. It’s hard work to move the mouth to talk. Actions say more. In reality, we want to be recognized. We want the credit. Once we speak up, people feel that we’re douche bags. That is why it is better not to comment, but we choose to speak when necessary. 

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Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: John Wall dominates Indy vs. Goodman Pro-Am

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: John Wall, the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, had an up-and-down rookie season with the Washington Wizards.

For what it’s worth, Wall has impressed during the Pro-Am series. Click the video, watch the highlights of Wall, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

O.Sandor

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Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rashard Lewis: It’s not my fault I’m overpaid

“You sign me to a deal, you think I’m going to say, ‘No, I deserve $50 [million] instead of $80 [million]?’ I’m like, ‘Hell, yeah.’ I’m not going to turn it down. You can’t blame the players. If anything, we don’t negotiate the deal. We’ve got agents that negotiate the deals with the team. Y’all need to go talk to the teams and the agents.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Two words for Rashard Lewis. Save it.

The stretch four-man for the Washington Wizards may have a point about the owners' spending habits, however, the ‘Average Joe’ has little time, interest, or sympathy in millionaire players and billionaire owners point the figure and blame each other.

What they want is a season. And now.

Lewis needs to step outside his bubble, consider the American economy, and reflect on what a fan must think hearing him complain.

After all, Lewis is an overrated and overpaid. He’s a decent scorer raking in superstar money and could be the poster boy for the NBA's current state of fiscal mismanagement.

The league’s middle class makes too much. The list of decent-to-average players earning tens of millions of dollars is a problem.

So the owners have decided they’ll get cost certainty with a hard cap and better split of Basketball Related Income, which, by the way, still guarantees Lewis a luxurious life.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Sep , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andray Blatche: I have to change

“I’m 25 years old,” said Blatche, who celebrated his birthday last month with John Wall, Hamady Ndiaye, Josh Howard and Trevor Booker in South Beach. “I’ve been in the league six years now. I know my goal. I want to be an all-star. And to be an all-star, I have to make changes, and those are the changes that I have to make now.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His actions will speak louder than his words.

Andray Blatche can talk about changing his lifestyle and cutting out the negative influences, however, only he can realize his goal of becoming an NBA All-Star.

For that to happen he must put his team, the Washington Wizards, first -which means he stops fighting with coach Flip Saunders, stops fighting teammates for statistics to get a triple-double, and stops fighting teammates in nightclubs.

Amongst all the drama is a world of talent. Blatche is a stretch-four, with a wonderful skill-set and flair for the game.

Now is the time. Blatche is in the first year of a multi-year deal for $35 million, so there are expectations.

It seems only he and the Wizards have faith it will happen.

--Oly Sandor

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Saturday , Aug , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: former NBA player Javaris Crittenton wanted for murder

Javaris Crittenton has been charged with murder after a woman was shot on an Atlanta street. Jullian Jones was shot and killed on August 19th. Police spokesman Carlos Campos said a murder warrant for the arrest of Crittenton had been issued and that he was not in custody.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Many felt Javaris Crittenton’s incident with Gilbert Arenas twenty months ago was unfortunate.

But nobody was hurt when Crittenton and Arenas brought guns into the Washington Wizards’ locker room and put them on a table when a dispute unfolded between the two guards.

How would the same people feel about reports Crittenton is wanted in the murder of an Atlanta mother of four?

One word: tragic.

A life is lost. And Crittenton, who claimed to have learned from the incident with Arenas, has made an awful mistake.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Aug , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern to union: ‘I’ll see you J.J. Barea and raise you Eddy Curry’

Finally, NBA Commissioner David Stern could not take it anymore. “All right, you want to go tit for tat, I’ll go tit for tat,” Stern said, according to the participants. “I’ll see you J.J. Barea and raise you Eddy Curry.” A shot to the gut, just like that.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Touché David Stern.

Players and owners met last June during the Finals to discuss the state of the NBA’s finances, and the two sides, as expected, argued over the amount owners were paying players.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban complained that a former player, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, didn’t do much of anything after signing a multi-year deal for $40 million.

The players countered by saying Cuban was getting a deal by paying combo guard J.J. Barea a relatively low annual salary of $1 million.

Then Commissioner Stern ended the conversation by mentioning Eddy Curry, who earned an appalling $33 million for playing in 31 games over the last three years.

He's right. NBA players are overpaid, specifically the very well-to-do middle class. And the list of players stealing money is in the dozens.

Here’s the question: is this the players fault?

Last I checked the owners signed the checks. Last I checked the owners hired general managers, who were supposed to have the ability to pass on bad contracts.

For instance, nobody forced Abe Pollin and the Washington Wizards to bid against themselves and sign Gilbert Arenas to a six-year, $111 million contract.

Arenas was coming off several knee surgeries. No team was willing to give the combo guard anything close to $111 million. Except, of course, Pollin.

Since signing his mega-deal, Arenas has been suspended for bringing guns into the team’s locker room and was shipped to Orlando, where he rarely played. And the Wizards haven’t been the same since.

So Stern is right. Players earn too much. He should look, in part, to the owners he represents, and not just the players.

However, we doubt Stern will will raise this point when owners and players finally meet next week to start negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

John Wall to booing ‘haters’: ‘thanks y’all give me more motivation’

Heard a had a lot of booo's and haters out there tonite...but thanks y'all give me more motivation to keep workin...Thanks

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: At least John Wall didn’t push a fan in the face.

Recently John Wall dominated a run in his home state of North Carolina, however, winning the game and scoring 36 points didn't sit well with the locals.

Wall was booed. Again and again. And for no good reason.

Thankfully, the Washington Wizards combo guard didn’t overreact. He did react like a star in the viral age, taking a shot or two at ‘the haters’ via twitter.

Fair enough.

It would be nice if Wall didn’t tweet a thing, though. His team won. He was the best player.

What else is there to say? What else matters?

Anyway, watch the video of Wall tearing up the NC Pro-Am and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.
 

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Nick Young scores a Durant-like 60 in Drew League

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Anything Kevin Durant can do, Nick Young can do better.

Well, almost.

Durant obviously trumps Young, however, the Washington Wizards swing dropped a Durant-like 60 points in summer action with the Drew League.

(Quick aside: Durant had a mere 41 points yesterday at the Nike Pro City game.)

Anyway, click the link, watch the video, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kareem calls Michael Olowokandi ‘uncoachable’ and a ‘washout’

I have seen this process firsthand. When I coached for the Clippers, I had to deal with Michael Olowokandi, a player who perfectly fit the description "talented but uncoachable." At practice, I would attempt to point out Mr. Olowokandi's faults to him, ones he constantly repeated and resulted in lost possessions for the team or personal fouls that sent him to the bench. His reaction to my attempts to correct his bad habits was to take my input as a personal insult and embarrassment. He told me point-blank that he would not be criticized in front of the team. He stuck to his word and, as a result, had very few successful moments on the court playing the way he wanted to play. He took his place on the list of athletically gifted washouts who have been in and out of the league in the past 10 years.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is right. Michael Olowokandi is one of many ‘athletically, gifted washouts’.

The problems start with the team. Not the players. Too many owners, executives, and coaches pay based on potential.

For instance, how many bigs, like Olowokandi, get $8-10 million per season because they’re big? That’s it. They’ve done nothing. They’ve achieved nothing. But they’re seven-feet, which makes them worthy of a contract that should offend.

Except it doesn’t offend. It’s the norm. Nobody blinks when Andrea Bargnani, Calvin Booth, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry, Brendan Haywood, Kenyon Martin, Bryant Reeves, Tyrus Thomas, and dozens of other stiffs get theirs.

Or, how about the Washington Wizards bidding against themselves and doling out $111 million over six-years to combo guard Gilbert Arenas, despite The Hibachi having undergone three surgeries on his brittle knees?    

There are other absurd contracts. The money, of course, creates entitlement. It’s why Olowokandi believes he's above being coached, even when that coach is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a former master in the paint, a world champion, and league MVP.

The ‘Skyhook’ is right. The ‘washout’ era needs to end. Hopefully, the new financial system changes the money and power teams give unproven and undeserving players.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video of JaVale McGee’s Circle of Life: Dunk, Block, Plank

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dunk. Block. Plank. What else can I say?

Click the video and watch JaVale McGee, of the Washington Wizards, complete ‘The Circle of Life’ in an exhibition contest in the Philippines.

--Oly Sandor.

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