LeBron to take part in Dunk Contest?

by Hoopsvibe

“I have thought about it before and a few times in the past I kind of had an ankle injury that kind of kept me out of it and a couple of times I was just like, ‘You know what, I’m going to go in here and rest my legs for this weekend and then get back to the regular season,” James said. “But, I mean, they say a lot of the greats have done it and I’ve watched it over the years.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It can only be positive.
LeBron James participating in the 2012 Slam Dunk contest would help the NBA move past the nasty lockout that lasted from July to December of 2011.
After all, the league needs this to erase the image of millionaire athletes and billionaire owners fighting over massive piles of revenue, especially during a nasty economic recession that has plagued the United States and much of the world.
So, the image of James finally gracing us with his presence on All-Star Saturday, and finally taking part in the Slam Dunk Contest would do much to draw back the alienated casual fan who has tuned out the NBA in recent years.
Would it solve all the league’s problems?
No, but it’s a step. And the NBA needs to take steps to regain it’s foothold in the sports and entertainment landscape.
—Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Video: Watch David Stern and Billy Hunter lift Lockout

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was a moment five months in the making.

Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter announced there was an agreement in principle on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and that the lockout would be lifted.

Unfortunately, the golden moment happened at 3pm eastern time. Most were asleep, so watch the video and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts … 




LeBron on lockout ending: ‘Heat is gone be on FIRE’

by Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: Miami/South Florida let’s go!!!! HEAT is gone be on FIRE


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: And so ‘The Redemption’ begins.

LeBron James and his Miami Heat were public enemy number one during 2010-11, as fans, media, and even some players objected to the way they came together as free agents.

Simply put, they were the villains, which made for great ratings and publicity.

Sadly, this momentum has been delayed by a petty, annoying, and trivial five-month lockout, where owners and players fought over minor issues when the framework of a deal – like the split of Basketball Related Income – had been in place for weeks.   

Now James begins the massive task of reshaping his image. Remember, the All-World three-man was routinely criticized and booed during the NBA Finals.

He was must-see TV. Just not in a good way.

In a sense, the lockout was good for James. It gave him time to pause, reflect and escape the harsh glare of the spotlight.

Time will tell if he’s learned from past errors. The shortened 2011-12 season holds the answer.

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

Rumor: Free Agents Crawford, Gasol, and Nene’s future decided Dec 9th?

by Hoopsvibe

NBA training camps and free agency will open simultaneously on Dec. 9 ahead of a triple-header on Dec. 25. Teams with many free agents will have limited rosters for the start of training camp. Marc Gasol, David West, Nene, Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson are amongst the most prominent free agents.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: December 9th is the new July 1st. For this year, at least.

July 1st  had traditionally been the day NBA fans huddled around computers, smartphones, and radios to receive word on player movement.

Under normal circumstances free agency began on this day, allowing teams to re-sign their own talent or ink  available players to contracts worth the GDP of the now in-ruins Euro-Zone.

It was crazy. It was frenetic. It was fun. Especially for fans.

However, this year there was no summer madness because of the lockout. Computers were idle; smart phones were silent; and sports talk radio chatted about other topics.

The only news was on Basketball Related Income, system issues, and the rants of Commissioner Stern and/or union leader Billy Hunter.

Hopefully, December 9th makes up for it. There is a short window for players and teams to cut a deal, and pent-up anticipation from hardcore fans.

Hoop heads will finally figure out where prominent free agents like Jamal Crawford, Marc Gasol, Nene, and David West end up.

The NFL experienced a buzz with their short free agent window after players and owners settled their differences. Of course, no games were missed.

Owners and players have to get back the casual fan. And December 9th, 2011’s July 1st, is a great place to start.

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

DeMar DeRozan on lockout ending: ‘I might cry tonight’

by Hoopsvibe

DeMar DeRozan: I might cry tonight!


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is exactly what fans want to hear. A young star, DeMar DeRozan, is excited to return to the basketball court.

Fans don’t want hear of B-List negotiations, owners conceding on the Mini Mid Level Exception and Sign-and-Trades for tax paying teams, and players feeling like they f*ck’n caved (this is how one veteran described the entire process).

This he-said-she-said, back-and-forth is all fans have heard for five months. And there were years of nonsense before that.

It stops. Right now.

The focus should be on the upcoming free agent period and then basketball.

Players and owners must get the bitterness out their mouth and focus on giving fans the joy of the sport.

All sides could take a lesson from DeRozan.

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

NBA Lockout (Sort of) Over

by Hoopsvibe

The NBA and players have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The deal sets in motion a series of steps to end the lockout and play a 66-game schedule in the 2011-12 season, with opening day on Christmas.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s over. Finally.

Well, sort of.

Last night, Commissioner David Stern and Union Boss Billy Hunter settled the major system issues and tentatively agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There is still work to be done on the rookie salary cap, drug testing, and other minor issues.

Both sides felt confident enough to shake hands and the owners lifted the lockout. Bottom line: we will probably have basketball. A 66-game season is slated to start on Christmas Day.

What about the damage to the sport?

For months, the NBA was criticized for not getting their house in order. After all, the NFL didn’t cancel games. And MLB quietly achieved labour peace last week.

All parties looked especially foolish arguing over the last crumbs on the table. And much of the momentum from last year has been lost.

Still, there will be basketball. That is far more than most expected.

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





Rumor: Players, Owners talking, hope for Dec 25th tip-off?

by Hoopsvibe

“Two people who have been briefed on the league’s strategy told CBSSports.com the NBA is holding out hope a settlement can be reached in time for the season to begin no later than Christmas.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: All I want for Christmas is my NBA.

It has become tradition –the gorging of food and consumption of beer while watching several NBA teams battle on Jesus’ birthday.

It may still happen. Saving the season would be a Christmas miracle, indeed.

Apparently players and owners have started talking with the hope that they’ll find common ground on the remaining system issues and begin a 66-game season on December 25th.

Basketball Related Issue is no longer an issue; the players and owners will split revenue 50-50. Surprisingly, the owners and players are arguing over the Mid level Exception.

If they don’t find common ground, the season may be in doubt. Commissioner David Stern has said he the league would a need thirty day window after signing the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to handle free agency and training camp.

And then we would all have to spend time with our parents-in-law on Christmas. None of us want that. They better get a deal done.

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

Paul Pierce: owners must extend olive branch

by Hoopsvibe

Paul Pierce believes the owners need to be the party to initiate a return to the bargaining table. “I think the owners have to take the step. We have taken a lot of steps. I think we have taken as many steps as we can take, which is why we are at where we are at. We feel like we’ve taken the most steps. That’s why we are going to court now.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Paul, who cares?

Five months into the NBA lockout it doesn’t matter who initiates talks so that owners and players finally bridge the gap on the remaining system issues.

It only matters that they do talk and bridge the gap. After all, the season is at risk. And re-starting after blowing an entire year would be difficult.

But Pierce’s attitude is hardly surprising. It reflects the view of players and owners in that the other side is at fault. So why talk? And why compromise on the last crumbs of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement?

Sadly, stubbornness is ruling the day.

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


Rumor: Players,Owners Hope to play by Christmas?

by Hoopsvibe

Two people who have been briefed on the NBA’s strategy said there remains "optimism" that a deal with the players can be struck in time to start the season no later than Christmas. And the league and players may already have started the process of returning to negotiations.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not a sound strategy.

Reports are surfacing that owners and players hope they’ll settle their differences, sign a new CBA, and start the season on Christmas Day.

This, of course, would be ideal. The Christmas Day games are when casual fans tune out the NFL and tune in the NBA.

Relying on hope is problematic. There’s too much bad blood between the two sides, who – despite finding common ground on Basketball Related Income – appear willing to blow up the entire league over the last dollars in negotiations.

So hope is not enough. Owners and players need to meet. Owners and players need to talk. And owners and players need to compromise.

If fans miss games on Christmas, they`ll give the NBA a lump of coal in return for many years.

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


Billy Hunter: ‘Maybe we can start our own league’

by Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter: “Maybe we can start our own league. There are faculties where we can do that. Can’t play at MSG but can play at St John’s.” … There’s talk of getting a TV deal and creating a new league but it’d have to be with a network that’s unafraid to cross the NBA.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I call nonsense.

There’s little chance the players will start a basketball league that can rival the NBA. Correction: there’s no chance.

After all, the NBA’s television deals, arena rights, and corporate sponsors aren’t leaving because of the lockout. And they certainly won’t ‘cross the floor’ to support an upstart league.

Most NBA players have struggled to organize their All-Star game or charity match, so how on earth can they be expected to organize an entire league?

This is Billy Hunter, the former head of the NBA Players’ Association and current head of the NBA Players’ Trade Association, angling for leverage.

Threatening the owners with a rival league won’t work, though.

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


Video: LeBron, Kevin Durant put in work at training session

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The great ones put in work regardless of the circumstances.

Even though there’s a lockout, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are training with the hope that owners and players will solve their differences and have a season.

Click the video below, watch these superstars train, and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

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

Rumor: NBA to cancel games through December 15th?

by Hoopsvibe

The NBA officially notified teams on Tuesday that it has canceled games through Dec. 15, according to multiple reports Tuesday. Tuesday’s cancellation is the third time games have been canceled in two-week segments. The NBA has now cancelled 304 regular-season games.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s an ancient saying that for every action there’s a reaction.

One day after the players rejected the owners’ offer, decertified the union, and filed anti-trust lawsuits, David Stern struck back by cancelling games through December 15th.

Bottom line: the clock is ticking.

Consider that Stern swore there’d be no 50 game season like in 1998 and the league would need a minimum of 30 days to prepare for a 70 game season.

For a season to occur, owners and players would need to immediately rescind the lawsuits, put aside their differences, and agree on the final, controversial terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Fat chance.

So, with every action there’s a reaction. And the chances of an NBA season get less likely.

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

Players Gave Back $3 Billion, Decertified for ‘Freedom’ to Move

by Hoopsvibe

The NBA players had given up $3 billion over the proposed 10-year deal with the owners. The only significant issue remaining was the players’ inability to have "freedom of movement."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In the end, Basketball Related Income wasn’t the elephant in the room.

For years, hoop heads thought players and owners inability to split revenue (known as BRI) would result in the 2012 season being cancelled.

However, minor system issues like allowing over-the-cap teams to use the Mid Level Exception and Sign-and-Trade clauses has led to players disbanding their union and filing an anti-trust lawsuit.

Yes, the MLE and Sign-and-Trades. This is what it has come to.

By fighting over the last few million dollars on the table, the players and owners will cost each other far more.

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


Video: Watch Players reject Owners’ offer and announce Decertification Plan

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ever wondered what a cancelled NBA season looks like?

Well, click the video below and watch NBA players reject the ‘final’ offer from Commissioner Stern, which means decertification of the union and owners demanding a greater share of Basketball Related Income and a flex cap.

Translation: the 2012 season is very much in doubt.

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


Billy Hunter: Players will vote on Owners’ propsal

by Hoopsvibe

When reached on Saturday night, however, Hunter told SI.com that his intention was to have the player representatives vote on a revised version of the NBA’s latest proposal before moving forward. We will vote on the NBA’s proposal," Hunter wrote in a text message. "The proposal will be presented with some proposed amendments."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They will vote. And the results will matter.

NBA players will vote, and in all likely-hood reject, the owners’ latest CBA proposal at Monday’s meeting in New York.

The real question is what happens next?

The players will officially begin a decertification movement that has been organizing for weeks. Decertification would dissolve the union. There’d be piles of paperwork; the season would be lost.

Of course, the owners have a card to play, too. If the players reject their offer, they’ll cancel games and demand a greater share of Basketball Related Income with a hard cap.

It’s a game of chicken worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Someone has to blink.

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


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

by Hoopsvibe

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."


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.

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

Rumor: Could 2011-12 NBA season end Monday?

by Hoopsvibe

The 2011-2012 NBA season is really, actually going to be cancelled. You may be saying “I knew this for months!” or something similarly cynical, but no one knew. They were talking. Not as early as they should have, but they were talking. No one knew how it would end. But here we are. We’re not going to have a season.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Monday is a critical day for the now four month long lockout.

On Monday, the players will vote on, and in all likely-hood reject, the owners’ latest offer of a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income and a more restrictive system.

There are consequences to rejecting the owners` offer. For instance, the owners insist this is their best deal and if rejected their next offer will include a hard cap with a demand for 53% of BRI.This is the equivalent of declaring labour war.

The players have their own card to play, though. There’s a movement to decertify the union, which would officially begin once this offer is rejected.

So, much is riding on the players accepting the offer at Monday’s meeting. Unfortunately, this is a long-shot.

The early indications from players and agents is they can’t accept the restrictions owners have placed on movement. They are against a mini mid-level exception, clauses on sign-and-trades, and a super tax on over-the-cap teams.

So expect the offer to be rejected. And expect things to get especially complicated on Monday.

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


Video: LeBron drops 43 at Rudy Gay’s charity game

by Hoopsvibe

Hoops Vibe’s Very Quick Call: This is what we are missing. LeBron. Kevin Durant. Rudy Gay.

The best athletes in the world are not able to perform in the proper forum because they and their bosses can’t agree on splitting billions of dollars in revenue.

Anyway, watch King James drop 43 at Gay’s charity game and get at us with thoughts in the comments box below.


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

Jason Terry: Players ready to walk on Stern’s CBA offer

by Hoopsvibe

Dallas Mavericks player representative Jason Terry said that if the proposal NBA commissioner David Stern delivered to the union late Thursday night is not a substantial improvement from the league’s one prior, players will be prepared to walk away, even if it threatens losing the entire season. "Our reasoning and what our strategy is, is we are trying to grow the game of basketball, and under the terms that have been presented to us, the game of basketball for us, from a players’ perspective, financially, will not be growing," Terry said Friday morning during an appearance on the "Ben and Skin Show" on 103.3 FM ESPN.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What now?

Do players, like Jason Terry, accept what union head Billy Hunter has called a mediocre offer and play a 72-game season? Or, do they reject the offer, decertify, and destroy the 2012 season?

Sadly, the latter is winning.

Owners and players have settled on the elephant in the room issue, Basketball Related Income.   

Both sides agreed on a ‘band system’ to split BRI evenly at 50%. In the past, owners received 43%, while players received 57%.

This, however, is not the source of contention. Players are unhappy with the system issues, specifically the owners restricting loopholes like the mid-level exception and sign-and-trades for teams over the salary cap.

Here’s my question: how many players each year get the full mid-level exception and/or switch teams via a sign-and-trade?

The answer: not many.

In the owners’ latest offer, over-the-cap teams can still use a scaled back version of the mid-level exception and sign-and-trades, too. This sounds fair. And at a certain point, owners and players must cut a deal or lose the season.

Then everybody – owners, players, and, most importantly fans – suffers.

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


Kevin Durant: ‘I’m all for player movement’

by Hoopsvibe

“Why cant players have freedom of movement?” asked Durant. “Teams trade players like cards, but you get mad when a player decides to go to another team. Double standard.” Durant pointed out that players often take less money in order to have the freedom to pick their destination. “I’m all for player movement,” said Durant before adding that he loves playing for the Thunder.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There has to be a trade off. At least, Kevin Durant thinks so.

Regardless of what the owners say, the players have made considerable concessions on Basketball Related Income.

For instance, the players earned 57% of BRI in the last Collective Bargaining Agreement and stand to make about 50% whenever the two sides sign a new deal.

The hold-up is what players get in exchange for taking a smaller piece of the pie. They want freedom to move between teams, while the owners are reluctant to grant such freedom because they fear wealthy, have-franchises will overpay.

Bottom line: the owners scored a massive victory on BRI. They routed the players by 35 points and are laughing to the bank.

Perhaps owners should give on cap loopholes and trade exceptions. Or, perhaps players, like Durant, should live with a scaled down mid level exception and sign-and trade formula.

Somebody has to give. At this point, I, like most of ‘Joe Public’, don’t care who it is.

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