2014 NBA Predictions: The Ultimate Starting Five

by Elijah Abramson

The All-Star team is always tainted by big markets who can vote in players that aren’t as worthy as their peers.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If LeBron James was on THIS team, there would be much more reason for his “not one, not two, not three…”


Video: LaMarcus Aldridge’s overtime game-winner Vs. Mavericks

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LaMarcus Aldridge continues to play at a high level -even though it has been a disastrous year for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Last night the post hit the game-winning shot in overtime against the world champion Dallas Mavericks.

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

Rumor: Blazers to trade Jamal Crawford?

by Hoopsvibe

The Clippers or any other team looking for scoring could also turn their attention to Portland’s Jamal Crawford. With the Blazers (18-18) underachieving and the 12-year veteran having struggled to fit in this season, sources say he’s available.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Jamal Crawford hasn’t fit with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Crawford, a former Sixth Man of the Year, is a scorer, while Blazers coach Nate McMillan likes defense. And Crawford is stuck playing point guard because McMillan is frustrated with Ray Felton, who is also on the trading block.

Then there’s Crawford’s contract. He inked a two-year, $10 million pact with the Blazers, however, the second year is a player’s option.

Crawford, unhappy with playing time, has made littlle secret of his desire to exercise that option and test the free agent market this summer.

So Blazers management may move Crawford to a contender and get an asset as part of an inevitable rebuilding project.

LaMarcus Aldridge aside, no player or coach is safe, which means the next few months should be awfully interesting in ‘Rip City’.

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

Most Underrated Player in the NBA?

by Paul Eide

With roughly a third of the regular season in the books, I thought it would be an interesting time to take a look around the league and see who is over performing based on previous expectations.


Rumor: Carl Landry to Portland?

by Hoopsvibe

Carl Landry believes the Blazers would be a good fit for him and LaMarcus Aldridge is in agreement. “That’s big of him to speak out and I’m glad he spoke out and said he wants to play with us,” Aldridge told SLAMonline. “He’s a good player and I definitely feel like he can help us immediately.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carl Landry is interested in Portland. And Portland, according to their newly anointed superstar, should have interest in Landry.

Landry and LaMarcus Aldridge have been throwing each other public bouquets, which has fuelled speculation the free agent will sign in ‘Rip City’ when the lockout ends.

While not a fan of players acting like general managers, Aldridge is right to suggest a fit.

Landry could start at center if Greg Oden’s injury woes continue. Or, he could come off the bench and back-up Aldridge and a healthy Oden.

Either way, Landry is a professional. He’ll fit in, work hard, and accept his role, while never rocking the boat for coach Nate McMillan.

All Landry, Aldridge, and Portland need is a collective bargaining agreement, so their interest can perhaps become something more substantial  -like a contract .

–Oly Sandor.

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

LaMarcus Aldridge willing to Lose season for ‘fair deal’

by Hoopsvibe

"No," Aldridge said, when asked if there was reason for optimism. "Both sides are pretty (far) off right now. So it’s going to be a while."

Aldridge, who is the Blazers’ player representative in the NBA Player’s Union, said he does not expect the season to start on time but does believe there will be a season eventually. That said, he is prepared to sit out all of 2011-12 if necessary.

"If that’s what it takes to get a fair deal done, then yes," Aldridge said.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The lockout just became a little more complicated.

Most owners, as we know, have no issue sacrificing the season to get a Collective Bargaining Agreement that has a hard cap and a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Some players feel the same.

LaMarcus Aldridge, the talented power forward for the Portland Trail Blazers, recently declared that he was willing to sit the entire year to get a ‘fair deal’.

Thankfully, most players don’t share his view. Aldridge is a union rep’, so he has to spout the rhetoric. As a highly paid player, he has the resources to go several months without an income.

Most players making the mid-level exception and below will re-think their ‘stance’ and begin bargaining when they miss a pay cheque.

If the players don’t show flexibility, if they don’t step off Aldridge’s hard-line, then the season is slready lost.

–Oly Sandor.

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

The 2011 NBA Most Improved Player is…

by J.N.

This race is actually a lot closer and tougher to call than the MVP one. The Most Improved Player award should probably be considered the poor man’s MVP trophy, which is not a bad thing. There are 3 contenders this year with a possible fourth. I thought the most improved player was easy to figure out. That is why barely anyone is discussing it; just look at who increased their numbers the most from the previous season, right? Is it really that simple? I’m not sure now.


Video: Nicolas Batum pulls a ‘Big Shot Bob’ on Spurs

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talk about a feel good story.

Without Greg Oden and a healthy Brandon Roy, the Portland Trail Blazers have still had a successful season and are well positioned for the playoffs.

Much of the credit goes to LaMarcus Aldridge, who seamlessly became a first option while Roy has struggled with knee troubles. Don’t sleep on the supporting cast, though.

Nicolas Batum, Wes Matthews, and Andre Miller have been superb. Watch the clip of Batum making like Robert Horry and ‘Big-Shot Bobbing’ the league-leading San Antonio Spurs to seal the victory for the Blazers.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Why LeBron James will not win MVP. Ever again.

by J.N.

I come in peace, but I’ll talk about this. This has to be addressed. Welcome to LeBron’s new nightmare. The Miami Heat is getting $hi#$ed on by the full media blitz. It’s not over. It’s never going to be over with the public onslaught. There is more to come, but no one has mentioned this particular item. I write this with full sincerity – LBJ will not win MVP ever again. This is a bold claim, but there are many reasons to see why.


Gerald Wallace feels ‘betrayed’ by Charlotte Bobcats and Michael Jordan

by Hoopsvibe

“Basically, you feel betrayed by somebody you love,’’ Wallace told the Observer before Saturday’s Blazers-Bobcats game. “I totally didn’t see it coming. I’d been there seven long years and then you feel like you’re not wanted anymore. That’s a bad situation to be in, especially for me, who committed so much to the organization. 

“I understand the situation – it’s a business and they’re looking to start all over. They wanted cap room, and I guess I was the logical answer for them trying to get draft picks.’’


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gerald Wallace is right.

On the one hand, he should feel disappointed and, perhaps, ‘betrayed’ by the Charlotte Bobcats, who dealt him at the trade deadline for draft picks.

After all, Wallace was their heart and soul. The three-man was one of the Bobcats’ original players, and in Charlotte he matured from a raw athlete man into an established professional.

Best of all, Wallace was blue-collar. He never took a night off. He always played hard. Night-in, night-out, he left it all on the floor. No matter how bad his team and the talent around him were.

On the other hand, the NBA, like Wallace mentions, is a ‘business’. The Bobcats are bidding their time until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement levels the playing field, which means swapping expensive salaries for draft picks, prospects, and expiring contracts.

Team Jordan couldn’t afford the two years and $20 million remaining on Wallace’s  contract. So he was a goner.

There are plenty of positives, though. The Portland Trail Blazers, Wallace’s new team, are relevant. They have young talent: LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wes Mathews, and Brandon Roy (provided he recovers).

Of course, Paul Allen owns the Blazers, so the club has deep pockets and will spend to win.

Change is never easy; however, being ’betrayed’ by Charlotte and starting over with Portland may be best for Wallace.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge snubbed as NBA announces All-Star reserves

by Hoopsvibe

The NBA announced the reserves of the 2011 All-Star Game on Thursday. Boston’s Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were named to the team, along with Chris Bosh of Miami and Atlanta’s Al Horford and Joe Johnson.

In the Western Conference, Dirk Nowitzki, Russell Westbrook, Pau Gasol, Blake Griffin, Deron Williams and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were named to the team.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Yesterday, the NBA announced the reserves for the upcoming All-Star game in Los Angeles. Three words: No Kevin Love.

Love may play for for the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, but he’s been superb on the glass. And LaMarcus Aldridge has held the battered Portland Trail Blazers together through their injury woes.

Both deserve to be Western Conference All-Stars in Los Angeles.

Check out the list of All-Star reserves and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

–Oly Sandor.

Best ‘Alley-oop’: Blake Griffin on Minnesota or LaMarcus Aldridge on Milwaukee?

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s on.

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge recently set the NBA ablaze with their alley-oops.

Our question is simple: who had the better catch-and-jam?

Do you prefer Blake-Zilla’s aerial antics against those miserable Minnesota Timberwolves? Or, did Aldridge’s poster-job of the Milwaukee Bucks catch your eye?

Watch both clips and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts?

(Blake-Zilla shows no mercy against the Wolves.)

(Aldridge soars against the Bucks.)

–Oly Sandor.

Memo to Danny Ferry: pass on the Portland Trail Blazers

by Hoopsvibe

Former Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has emerged as one of the first front-office targets of the Trail Blazers after they abruptly fired Kevin Pritchard on draft night, according to sources with knowledge of Portland’s thinking.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Danny, don’t do it! Don’t take the Portland Trail Blazers’ front office job.

I know you’re on the rebound after parting with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you’re anxious to re-establish yourself as an NBA executive. And I know you’re confident -even for a Duke guy.

We get it.

But notice the warning signs. They’re redder than David Hasselholff’s nose after a night on the town. And they’re scarier than ‘Hoff’s’ music videos.

For instance, executive Tom Penn was mysteriously fired by the Blazers. The club justified the move by leaking unsubstantiated rumors of Penn being involved in a human resources dispute.

More recently, GM Kevin Pritchard was fired moments before the NBA draft, but asked to participate in the war room.

Penn and Pritchard are highly respected by their peers around the league; however, they were treated with no respect.


Danny, this could be you if you take the Blazers job. Owner Paul Allen is a Microsoft tyrant who will make your former boss, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, look tame.

Allen will scheme behind your back, too. He’ll interfere. He’ll meddle. And he’ll interview candidates for your position while you’re on the payroll. After all, Allen allegedly talked to Oklahoma City executive Sam Presti about replacing Pritchard -even though Pritchard was still on the job.

Danny, I know it’s hard, but pass on Portland. Forget Brandon Roy. Forget LaMarcus Aldridge. And forget one of the NBA’s most loyal fan bases.

None of that will matter when dealing with Allen. His true colors have been revealed these last few weeks.

Got thoughts?  

You’re fired Kevin Pritchard, but can you stay for the NBA draft?

by Hoopsvibe

Firing Kevin Pritchard an hour before the NBA draft, the Trail Blazers revealed themselves as extremely dysfunctional. Pritchard was told he was fired, but was asked to stay in the "war room" and participate in the draft. Then, after his dismissal was reported, the Blazers media relations department refused to confirm the firing or answer questions about it. Also, the organization heard the Blazer radio broadcast team discussing Pritchard’s firing in the opening 30 minutes of their broadcast and ordered them to stop discussing the matter. Paranoia ran wild again. People feared for their jobs. It was like old times on Thursday. Distraction followed by avoidance wrapped in absurdity. And the common denominator ends up being owner Paul Allen.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Right now, Portland fans may be thinking The Jail Blazers weren’t that bad.

Who fires their general manager minutes before the NBA draft, but asks him to stay and work the war room? And these shenanigans came days after the team mysteriously let go of highly respected cap expert Tom Penn.

Now owner Paul Allen always has the right to make changes; however, no decent executive will take the Blazers gig if they have to deal with a Microsoft tyrant.

Remember those rumors about Oklahoma City prodigy Sam Presti having an interview with Allen? Well, forget it. After this debacle he’ll certainly stay with the Thunder. For good. 

Fair or not, Penn and Pritchard may not have been the front office duo to take Portland to the ranks of championship contender. This is a judgment call, though.

What isn’t a judgment call: employees are deserving of greater respect. For instance, the New York Knicks gave Isiah Thomas a better send off than Pritchard -despite ‘Zeke’ ruining one of the NBA’s classic franchise.

After dealing with arrests, dog fighting, and assaults, the Blazers had turned the corner with a young, good-guy nucleus of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.

All these efforts may be stunted by an overzealous owner in Allen. As usual, it’s the NBA’s most loyal fans who’ll suffer.

Got thoughts?

Rumor: Portland trading for Cleveland’s Mo Williams?

by Hoopsvibe

Portland is showing strong interest in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo WIlliams. The Blazers have been making calls to check on him.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Williams would fit in ‘Rip CIty’.

After all, Cleveland’s current table-setter is able to play both on-and-off the ball. He can handle the rock, run the offense, and use his jumpshot to prevent defenses from double-teaming stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.

Williams is also easy company. Teammates and coaches enjoy being around him, and he’d likely gel with an already close Blazer squad.

Of course, it’s never that easy.

Williams is a sub par defender, who has a reputation for going MIA in the playoffs. He also two years and a player’s option left on his contract for a total of $27 million. Worst of all, his presence might upset temperamental veteran Andre Miller.

Why are the Blazers really interested in Williams?

Executive Kevin Pritchard is on shaky ground and needs some headlines to solidify his standing with the organization. Remember, last year, Pritchard was willing to overpay free agents like David Lee, Lamar Odom, and Hedo Turkoglu -even though these forwards wouldn’t have helped much.

This isn’t the way to run a professional sports team, but issues have existed in the front office for some time.

For instance, Tom Penn, the Vice President of Basketball Operations, was mysteriously fired in June for reasons that remain unknown. And there are has always been rumors that Pritchard and Coach Nate McMillan don’t get along.  

Maybe Portland acquires Williams. Maybe Portland goes in a different direction. One thing is certain: changes will take place in the Northwest.

Got thoughts on this?              


The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos

by C.Y. Ellis

You wouldn't believe the number of inky abominations etched into the pelts of pro ballers.  I'd originally planned a simple list of the league's ten worst tats, but when my dishonourable mention section hit double digits I realised I'd need to expand the scope of the project a little.  Even when I elongated the list to twenty-five terrible tattoos, I still found that I had to exclude some real atrocities.  In the end it took a full fifty spots to showcase the shittiest skin art in the L.