Summer Trade Review: Eastern Conference

by Andrew Flint

Who were the winners and losers this off-season. Who thought the Cavs and Pistons wanted to win?

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is the cheat sheet you need to know before the season starts.


Brandon Jennings Claims The Game Sucker Punched Him.

by Jahfree Duncan

Nothing like getting punched in the mouth and responding with a mean tweet.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I’m pretty sure the last thing The Game needs to do is sucker punch someone that weighs 170 lbs.


Top 10 Things NBA Ballers Do In The Off Season.

by Andrew Flint

Top 10 Things NBA Ballers do in the off season and we got proof (pic gallery).

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t know about you, but it feels odd seeing Kobe Bryant shopping at Ralph’s and LeBron James at the dentist. I guess they are human after all.


Mayo To Opt Out of Dallas, Stoudemire and Jennings Guarantee Wins.

by Andrew Flint

O.J. Mayo will opt out of his contract in Dallas as Stoudemire and Jennings make absurd first round playoff predictions.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Since when does a #2 seed have to publicly guaratee they’ll beat a #7 seed? Probably about the same time a #8 seed guarantees they’ll beat the best team in basketball. 


Top 10 Biggest Surprises of the 2013 NBA Season

by Andrew Flint

Top 10 biggest surprises of the 2013 NBA Season.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Lakers Suck, Chicago’s Legit, Who’s Gortat, and Harden’s unstoppable.

#10 Marcin Gortat blocks a ton of shots. 

I don’t think you would have found too many NBA analysts picking Marcin Gortat as the shot block leader, but after one week of games he sits atop the standings with 3.5 blocks per game. He beat out big name guys like Roy Hibbert 3.25 blocks per game and Josh Smith 3.0 blocks per game, but can Gortat keep this up or is he simply on a lucky streak?

#9 Brandon Jennings lights up the league.

After one week of NBA ball, Brandon Jennings leads the league in both assists with 13 per game and steals with 4 per game. This may be the year Jennings fully comes into his own and shows the NBA he is not simply a solid player, but a star in the league. 

#8 Houston Rockets can compete.

Starting off the season 2-1 is encouraging for the Rockets. This is especially true because their new guard combo of James Harden and Jeremy Lyn appears to be clicking on all cylinders. Harden at marched out to an amazing first week and Lyn as put up rock solid numbers too. Lyn’s put up 15.8 points per game, 7.3 assists per game, and 5.7 assists per game. More on Harden’s numbers below.

#7 Clippers beat Lakers.

With the Lakers grabbing Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this off-season, it appeared Los Angeles was safely in the grips of the Lakers. Yet, when these two teams met for their first inter-city competition this year it was the Clippers that looked faster, strong, and more dominant. They handed the Lakers their 3rd straight loss of the season.

#6 Knicks destroy Miami.

The Knicks put a whooping on the defending NBA champions 104-84 the first week of the season. They also marched out to a 3-0 start in the first week. It looks like New York might have just figured out how to make all these pieces fit together and the answer much just be the great facilitator Jason Kidd.

#5 Milwaukee Bucks got game.

The Bucks are out to a 2-0 start and are showing they are no pushover this year. Lead by feisty point guard Brandon Jennings who leads the NBA in both assists and steals, the Bucks have quickly become a team to watch out for. They might just be the sleeper team of 2013.

#4 Spurs aren’t that old.

Everyone always seems to count the Spurs out even though they had the best record in the NBA both of the last two years. They started of this season hot again going 4-0. So much for too old, too slow, and not enough talent. With the Lakers struggling and the Thunder figuring out how to win without Harden, this could the the Spurs year to take the West.

#3 Chicago Bulls are legit without Rose.

Everyone figured this season was a bust with Derek Rose out, but Joakim Noah and Luol Deng are picking up the slack and have Chicago 3-1. This team still maintains a great defense and ability to shutdown opposing teams. If they can keep their offensive production solid, they just might make a run at the East.

#2 James Harden is an animal.

James Harden has singe-handedly taken the NBA by storm this year. Who knew putting Harden in the starting lineup would result in a 35.3 point per game average over the first week of the season. Harden has shown why at 6 foot 5 inches tall and a quick 220 lbs. he is so difficult to guard. Everyone knew he was good, but so far this year his numbers are amazing.

#1 Lakers Suck.

The Lakers were supposed to tear the Western Conference apart this year. They signed the best center in the league and a perennial NBA All Star at point guard to go with already impressive lineup of one of the best shooting guards in the history of the NBA and two other regular NBA All Stars in Gasol and World Peace. This was going to be a Dream Team of sorts. People were predicting a 72-win season and yet they started 0-3! They eventually won a game and now stand embarrassingly tied for last place in the Pacific Western Conference. 


Drew vs. Goodman League at CSULB – The Final Thought

by J.N.

The half time show was ass. Three kids were dancing around shouting through the speakers. If they were good, we couldn’t tell because the sound check guys did not do their jobs. There was too much feed back. I cannot understand what they were saying. The kids looked more like ravers on drugs dancing around with decorative clothes and back packs. They claimed that swag is dead, but their sign is messed up. It reads “Swag is dead.” A slash mark crosses the sentence. Does that mean that swag is not dead? They meant to say “Swag.” A slash mark crossing that word makes sense. No one was amused. Swag itself was not amused.


Brandon Jennings thinks Stephen Jackson makes Bucks a top team in the east

by Hoopsvibe

“The first day Stephen Jackson walked into the facility, I knew right then and there it was going to be a different year,’’ Jennings said. “And it’s going to be a year that I think we’re going to be successful.

“The thing about the NBA is the league gets better and better every year. It’s never going to be the same, so I think with Stephen Jackson and a healthy Andrew Bogut and Drew Gooden, I think we’ll be talented enough to play with any of the top teams in the East, hands down.’’


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Brandon Jennings is right to suggest Stephen Jackson will impact the Milwaukee Bucks.

Will it be for better or worse, though?

Jennings believes his new teammate will use his talent for good, transforming the Bucks into a contender out east.

There`s evidence to support this view: Jackson was a champion with the San Antonio Spurs; helped the Charlotte Bobcats make their first-ever playoff appearance; and was terrific for the Golden State Warriors in 2007.

And there`s evidence to refute this view: Jackson bolted on those same Spurs, fell out with the Bobcats, and demanded the Warriors trade him months after signing a lucrative extension.

The hope is that Jackson will warm to his new surroundings. When healthy, Jennings and Andrew Bogut are a solid pair. Coach Scott Skiles will appreciate his tenacity as long as Jackson doesn`t become a distraction.

Who can forget the shenanigans that took place with the Indiana Pacers?

Of course, Jackson’s deal expires in 2013, so he’ll have to perform if he wants a contract from the Bucks or another team.

Jennings is right: Jackson will make the Bucks better. For now, it`s in his interests to do so. 

–Oly Sandor.

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



Brandon Jennings: Kobe Not L.A. enough?

by Hoopsvibe

If Bryant decides to play in the Drew League this summer, Jennings would want to see some documentation. "He wasn’t born and raised in L.A," Jennings told ESPN the Magazine`s Chris Palmer. "You gotta be from L.A. for Drew. Show me a birth certificate."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps taking his cue from Donald Trump and President Obama, Brandon Jennings wants to see Kobe Bryant’s birth certificate to establish if the superstar can represent the Los Angeles based Drew League.

Locked out NBA players have taken to suiting up for two street ball organizations: the Goodman League and the Drew League.

Jennings believes you must be born or raised in Los Angeles to play for the west-coast based Drew League. Bryant wasn’t born or raised in Los Angeles, which according to the Milwaukee Bucks’ table-setter makes him ineligible.

To be fair, Bryant has always considered himself a Los Angeles native since getting drafted by the Lakers in the mid-nineties. Other cities, especially Philadelphia, gave him grief for such allegiances.

So Jennings, a resident of Compton, should perhaps cut the five-time world champion a little slack and let him play for the Drew.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Video: Brandon Jennings’ Off-The-Backboard Dunk

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Yesterday, Brandon Jennings declared it was time to take his game to the next level and become an All-Star.

Apparently, he was serious, too. In a summer pick-up game, Jennings tossed the ball of-the-backboard and threw down a rather impressive jam.

Of course, there’s no defense in these runs. But the highlight does show Jennings is serious about improving his finish around the basket.

Anyway, watch the video, form your opinion, and get at HoopsVibe News with your opinion in the comment box.

–Oly Sandor.

Brandon Jennings: ‘It’s time to become an All-Star’

by Hoopsvibe

"Next year will be my third year and I need to establish myself as one of the best point guards and one of the best players in the game. It’s just trying to get better and better every day. Working with Scott Skiles (before the lockout), getting in the weight room, dedicating the summer to strictly basketball. It’s going to be my third year, so it’s time to become an all-star."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did it do more harm than good?

Eighteen months ago, Brandon Jennings was the talk of the NBA. His first month in the league was full of highlights, assists, and a 55-point game.

Suddenly, the Milwaukee Bucks were relevant. Expectations soared for Jennings, a high profile point guard who skipped college and played professionally in Italy for one season.

Last year, Jennings got exposed. His shot selection was poor; his finish at the rim weak. Many believed Luke Ridnour, a veteran backup, was better at running the half-court offense.

It was obvious: Jennings got too much too soon. And he didn’t know how to respond when defenses adjusted after to his early success.

Jennings deserves credit for checking his ego, setting goals, and putting in work. He also deserved credit for using Scott Skiles, the Bucks` taskmaster coach, as a resource before the lockout.

After all, Skiles is old school. He won’t tell Jennings what he wants to hear. And he’ll challenge his young point guard –just not like he did with Shaquille O`Neal so many years ago.

How many 22-year olds would have the maturity to do that? Most would ignore their hard-as-nails sideline boss and hire ‘their guy’ to serve as personal trainer.

Perhaps Jennings takes a significant step next year. Perhaps not. But it won’t be for lack of effort or trying.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Rumor: Bucks open to trading Jennings?

by Hoopsvibe

Top rumors making the rounds at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this week: The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly would be open to listening to offers for guard Brandon Jennings.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year, he was a stud. This year, he was a dud.

There are reports suggesting the Milwaukee Bucks would consider dealing young point guard Brandon Jennings.

In 2010, Jennings led a hoops renaissance in Milwaukee. Their jitterbug point guard was a Rookie of the Year candidate. The Bucks, behind a late season push, made the playoffs.

But it all went pear-shaped for player and team in 2011. Jennings, in part because of injury, struggled to recapture his form. The Bucks missed the playoffs.

Has management lost faith in Jennings?

Much depends on Coach Scott Skiles. Skiles, a former point guard, is notoriously tough on his point guards, and may have lost patience with young Jennings.

Management may listen to offers. And Jennings may be dealt for the perfect offer.

The perfect offer is unlikely, though. The NBA is point guard heavy. Teams in the market for a table-setter will wait for July of 2012 when Chris Paul and Deron Williams become free agents, as oppsed to overpaying for Jennings.

Look for the darting left-hander to be in a Bucks uniform when the 2012 season begins.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Rumor: Ricky Rubio to sign with Minnesota, Jonny Flynn to Toronto?

by Hoopsvibe
If Rubio does indeed sign as expected, point guard Jonny Flynn’s days in Minnesota are numbered. Sources also indicated to HOOPSWORLD that Flynn is almost sure to be traded in that case with the Toronto Raptors being one of the most probable destinations.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Whenever Ricky Rubio crosses the Atlantic and joins the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jonny Flynn becomes very available.
Sources say Rubio’s migration will happen this summer –and sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, Flynn’s stock is at an all-time low, so the Timberwolves won’t get much for the sixth pick in 2009. Hopefully, executive David Kahn reflects on how he wasted this asset.
For instance, Kahn could have traded the lottery pick two years ago for an established pro, young asset(s), draft picks, or cap relief.
He could have drafted a player at another position like Stephen Curry (and used him at off-guard), DeMar DeRozan, Tyler Hansborough, James Johnson, or even Taj Gibson.
If Kahn was absolutely determined to have another table-setter, he could have drafted Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, or Darren Collison.
Just not Flynn, who has underperformed. Now Kahn has the unpleasant task of trying to get something for his underperforming asset.
The above report cites Toronto as a likely home for Flynn. The former Syracuse star had expressed interest in suiting up for the Raptors.
Perhaps this happens. However, MLSE, the wealthy and dysfunctional holding company that owns the Raptors, has bigger fish to fry, specifically executive Bryan Colangelo.
Colangelo’s contract expires next month, and there has been no indication on whether he’ll be extended or let go. Instead, he twists in the wind.
Under such circumstances, it’s hard to imagine Colangelo acquiring Flynn. He’d have to trade veteran Jose Calderon and make a call on youngster Jerryd Bayless.
And he probably doesn’t have authorization to do anything except focus on the draft.
So the Rubio saga will continue when he lands in ‘The Frozen Tundra of Sota’. Only his presence will create a stir with Flynn.

Oly Sandor.

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

Jerry Colangelo on Team USA selection process: shoe sponsorships don`t matter

by Hoopsvibe


"I’m the one who picks [players]. What somebody wears in the way of shoes or gear doesn’t have any impact on who is selected," Colangelo told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the player. Not the shoes.

Today, Team USA executive Director Jerry Colangelo took issue with Brandon Jennings’ claim that shoe sponsorships influence the selection of the American team.

Jennings didn’t get asked by Colangelo to try out. He’s sponsored by Under Armour, while Stars and Stripes are sponsored by Nike.

According to Colangelo, merit, not shoe deals, is the criteria. And Colangelo not only invited but gave a spot to Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose –both of whom aren’t sponsored by Nike.

Of course, by rocking the boat, by speaking out, Jennings killed whatever chance he had in the near future of suiting up for his country.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Brandon Jennings on Team USA snub: It’s gotta be the shoes

by Hoopsvibe

It’s not my call. That’s on them," Jennings said. "But if you want to get technical about it and you really want to look at it, half of the guys there are Nike guys. I’m not saying it’s a Nike thing, but Nike is kind of running a lot of things right now. To have a guy like myself on the USA team that’s flashy and really outgoing, you don’t want Under Armour to get all that [publicity]. "I’m just telling you how it is." 


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote Brooklyn legend Mars Blackmon: ‘It’s got to be the shoes’.

At least, this is the reason second year guard Brandon Jennings believes Team USA didn’t invite him to try out for the World Championship squad. Stars and Stripes were sponsored by Nike. Jennings is sponsored by Under Armour.

Jennings sees a connection. The Swoosh supposedly concocted a grand conspiracy of Oliver Stone proportion to keep Jennings – a pretty good, but hardly great table-setter – off the squad.

There’s a simpler and better answer: Jennings isn’t as good as he thinks.

Team USA had other options. Better options. For instance, the coaching staff selected Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose at point guard. Both are more advanced than Jennings. Neither wears Nike.

Off the bench, the Americans had Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, and Russell Westbrook. Curry makes Team USA because they needed outside shooting. Gordon surprised the coaching staff. And Westbrook’s energy and athleticism was irreplaceable.

Frankly, the 2010 American team won gold at the World Championship because everybody parked their egos at the door. Nobody bitched. Nobody moaned.

Would the coaches want someone who describes himself as flashy and outgoing, and believes a multinational shoe company is out to get him? Or, would they want a player who puts the team first?

There’s an easy answer. And it makes more sense than Mars Blackmon.

–Oly Sandor.

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


No Way Jose: Why Colangelo and Toronto can’t trade Calderon

by Hoopsvibe

"My future will be known when Toronto and my agents make a decision," Calderon said. "They are working daily for the best solution for me and the franchise. Now, there isn’t anything new to say."

Calderon is Toronto’s highest-paid player with the departure of All-Star Chris Bosh. He’ll make $9 million this coming season, but his contract increases to $9.7 in 2011 and $10.5 million in 2012.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One man’s junk is another man’s, well, junk.

It’s no secret Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is having difficulty trading Jose Calderon and the remaining three-years and $30 million on his contract.

After all, Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats exposed Colangelo and Calderon when ‘His Airness’ pulled an audible in mid-air and cancelled a trade to acquire the Spanish point guard in July.

For a variety of reasons, Calderon could be staying put:

1) The recession is lingering. A lockout is coming next July. In this economy, few teams have the resources or desire to assume Calderon’s big-ticket.

2) The teams that can afford Calderon want better value. For instance, he’s earning star money but – with his poor defense and health – is really a reserve.

3) The league is stacked with point guards. Last year, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson, and Darren Collison entered the league, and proved they could start or come off-the-bench.

Two years ago, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, and Goran Dragic were drafted and have also shown they can play.

These young table-setters, who are tied to cheap rookie contracts, have killed the trade market for expensive veterans like Calderon.

4) Calderon thrived when Toronto played an up-and-down system. Back then, offensive basketball was enjoying a brief renaissance.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns aside, the renaissance is over. Defense is in demand, which means Calderon – the NBA’s worst perimeter defender – is not.

So Colageno could be stuck with Calderon, a player he supported, paid, and has turned on. Things could get awkward if Calderon is in Toronto for 2011.

All will be noted by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors, when Colangelo’s contract expires next summer.

And the organization will not have any of these difficulties cutting ties with their underachieving executive.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Brandon Jennings on Milwaukee: ‘We can be a top four team in the East’

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He put it out there.

Second year point guard Brandon Jennings believes his Milwaukee Bucks could finish in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

Jennings – also known as The Gremlin for rocking his, well, unique ‘do – may be overlooking the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, and that other team in the state of Florida.

Still, Jennings’ optimism is always appreciated, but is it misdirected?

Watch the clip by clicking the link courtesy of HoopsHype. Then get at us in the comment box on how Milwaukee will do in 2011.

–Oly Sandor.

Staying put? Gooden signs five-year, $32 million deal with Milwaukee

by Hoopsvibe

Drew Gooden has reached agreement on a five-year, $32 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Strike while the free agent iron is hot, folks.

Drew Gooden – a well-traveled post who has played for eight teams in eight years – signed with the Milwaukee Bucks on the first day of free agency for slightly above the mid-level exception because he wants a home.

Milwaukee adds depth up front next to budding center Andrew Bogut, and young point guard Brandon Jennings. 

So Gooden, hopefully, gets his security, while the developing Bucks get a blending scorer and rebounder. 

— O.Sandor.

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