Nets fire head coach Avery Johnson

by Matt Formica

Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King announced Thursday that the team has fired head coach Avery Johnson.

Hoopsvibe’s quick call:  The Nets fell apart in December and Johnson took the fall.


NBA On Christmas Day Flashback: Bernard King Scores 60

by Paul Eide

For Christmas, Santa is bringing you a full slate of NBA games throughout the day, into the night.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Even though there will be five games, odds are no-one will replicate Bernard King’s game 28 years ago.


HoopsVibe Interviews NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo

by Paul Eide

HoopsVibe was fortunate enough to speak with former NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Mutombo is the latest pitch-man for Old Spice’s “Champion Scent” line of products.

During his 18 year playing career, “Mt. Mutombo” was one of the most intimidating shot blockers and rebounders of all time, leading the league in blocked shots five times and rebounds four times. Mutombo was an eight time All-Star and appeared in the NBA FInals with the Philadelphia 76ers. 

HoopsVibe: Tell us about the game (which can be found at According to the site you have 4 ½ weeks to save the world before the end of the Mayan calendar, correct?

Dikembe Mutombo: Yes, Iteam up with Old Spice to promote the computer game and we have to save the world in 4 ½ weeks. Also to promote Champion Scent from Old Spice. It’s a wonderful game for everybody to play.

HV: Let’s talk about Georgetown. You played there with Alonzo Mourning and a lot of other great players; Why couldn’t you and Zo win a national title?

DM: Man, that is a major question that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. We had a chance and ultimately went to NBA to become dominant centers and we had opportunities to win in college. The opportunity was there, and we just didn’t do it.

HV: How did the finger wave come to become your signature move?

DM: It happened after my third year just before we beat the Seattle Supersonics in 1994 NBA playoffs. I was having such a great year and blocking shots and moving up in the league. I used to block the shot and then I would shake my hand and no one said nothing. One day I decided shaking the hand doesn’t really mean nothing- maybe the best way to not come into the House of Mutombo it’s best to wave my finger, so it worked out very cool. But it ended up getting me a lot of technicals.


HV: How did the NBA come to ban that? Does David Stern call you personally?

DM: It came from the players. You would hear from someone like Phil Jackson or something, that maybe you better stop what you’re doing it’s costing you a lot of money. It was good for me to do in the players face, but if I could face the fans and wave my finger away from the players face, it would be great. That’s why you see in the last five years I started doing it away from the players face. So I don’t have to lose a couple of thousand dollars (laughing).

HV: Who was your favorite NBA player to block? 

DM: That’s a good question. To me, not just one in particular. But I think playing against Shawn Kemp. He was such a high jumping, athletic player.

HV: How gratifying was it to be the first eight seed to beat a one seed when your Nuggets beat Kemp’s Sonics?

DM: One of my proudest successes of my career. But I’m happy to promote the Old Spice game now. I want everyone to go to the website on your computer and play the game to save the world we only have four and a half weeks so we better do it!

To play “Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World“, click here.


Video: New Jersey Governor Says ‘Good Riddance’ to Nets

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Nets recently played their last game in Jersey. This summer, they’ll pack, cross the Hudson river and move into their shiny billion dollar stadium in Brooklyn, New York.

One New Jersey native who won’t miss the Nets: Governor Chris Christie. In fact, the elected official said ‘good riddance’ when asked about the team leaving.

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

Rumor: Kevin Garnett to Nets this summer?

by Hoopsvibe

What the Nets are thinking— reportedly — is that they need to upgrade the roster and power forward is one place they feel they can do better. The team reportedly plans to chase after Boston’s Kevin Garnett as they try to add star power for when they move into the Barclays Center.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No way. No how. Not possible.

Kevin Garnett will not sign with the New Jersey Nets as a free agent this summer because he likes to, you know, win.

Sure, playing in Brooklyn, New York would be nice. Sure, playing in the new $1 billion Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York would be really nice. And sure, getting an amount well over market value from Mikhail Prokhorov – also known as Russia’s richest man, Vladimir Putin’s opponent in a corrupt election, and the Nets’ majority owner – would be really, really nice.

None of that translates to a second championship, though. And Garnett likes to win. Joining a rebuilding Nets team without Deron Williams, who’ll likely sign with the Dallas Mavericks this summer, makes no sense.

Garnett may or may not re-up with the Celtics. One thing is clear: he’ll go where he has a chance at a championship.

The 36-year old and future member of the Hall of Fame doesn’t have the time or temperament for anything else.

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

Will Dwight Howard`s back injury kill Magic`s season?

by Hoopsvibe

Howard has been advised to cease all basketball-related activities for the next 10 to 15 days as playing could further extend the injury. Howard would miss the remainder of the regular season if he follows that advice, but it has not been determined if he will attempt to play through the injury.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Dwight-Drama continues.

For months, there was speculation about Dwight Howard’s future with the Orlando Magic, which placed the club in a holding pattern.

One minute, Howard wanted to stay in Orlando. One minute, he wanted out. And then, he wasn’t sure.

The situation came to a head before the trade deadline, where Howard, after much cajoling and strong-arming, opted-in for 2013.

There was a clumsy press conference. There was talk of ‘loyalty’. There was a reconciliation so awkward it belonged on the Desperate Housewives series.

It seemed all was solved in the short term. Then the rumblings and rumours started again. The Magic threatened to trade Howard to the Lakers unless he opted-in (yes, you read correctly, Howard did not want to go to L.A.). Reports surfaced that Howard wanted coach Stan Van Gundy fired.

Even retired CNN talk show host Larry King weighed-in, tweeting that a source told him Howard was nearly a Net at the trade deadline.

And now this …

Howard has been diagnosed with a back injury. He can’t play for a couple of weeks. His Orlando Magic sit at sixth in the Eastern Conference and are sliding down the standings.

The playoffs are not guaranteed. If they do secure a top-eight seed, they will likely face powerhouses such as the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat.

The Magic`s season is ending badly. And the future for player and team doesn`t look good, either.

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


Lamar Odom on shrinking role with Mavs: ‘It is what it is’

by Hoopsvibe

Odom tried to find an ounce of humor in the sad situation, but the reality is it appears Carlisle is done with the spin, done with the positive reinforcement and maybe even done putting Odom on the floor with nine games left that are so vital to the defending champs’ postseason hopes in this strange, strange season. “I can’t read it,” Odom said of the immediate future. “It is what it is. What can I do? Coach is always right.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom became a target the moment he went on TV for something other than basketball.

People fall in love. And Odom fell in love with Khloe Kardashian. But he didn’t have to be part of her reality world, hawking their relationship and various lifestyle products on the ‘E’ network.

Being such a public figure means perhaps he gets more of the blame than he deserves for the Dallas Mavericks’ poor play.

Make no mistake about it, Odom has been disappointing since coming over from the Los Angeles Lakers in a pre-season trade.

But what did Team Cuban expect?

Odom — when unfocused and uninspired — is a soft player. There was no way he could do any of things Tyson Chandler did for the Mavericks’ championship run.

Of course, the Mavericks never really wanted Odom. They wanted his contract, which they’ll buy-out at season’s end in order to chase free agent point guard Deron Williams.

Here’s what Odom should do: contact his former brother-in-law Kris Humphries. The Nets’ power forward, after an acrimonious divorce to Kim Kardashian, has kept a low profile, given up on being a second-rate celebrity, and focused on basketball.

Odom should do the same. His career, as a basketball player, depends on it.

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

Stephon Marbury is real life Mr. Baseball, winning championship in China

by Hoopsvibe


Beijing Ducks, led by former NBA star Stephon Marbury who notched game-high 41 points on Friday night, clinched their first-ever title of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league. Edging defending champions Guangdong Hongyuan 124-121 at home, Beijing Ducks, who entered the finals for the first time, won 4-1 on aggregate in the best-of-seven series. Guangdong had been crowned seven times in the past eight seasons.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I have a confession. I never thought Stephon Marbury would be a champion in any league or at anything.

After all, Marbury had toxic traits -wearing out his welcome in Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, and the entire NBA.

Things often got weird, too. There was his bizarre interview where he referred to his wife has his better ‘ho’. There was his preacher-like sermon when the Knicks acquired Zach Randolph. There was his role in Isiah Thomas’ sexual harassment case. There was his banishment from the New York Knicks and some bizarre youtube clips.

Too Marbury’s credit, he has moved on. The past is the past. In China, he won a championship, sold sneakers, and even served as a go-between when J.R. Smith got into trouble with his Chinese club a few months ago.

The entire episode reminds me of the redemption flick Mr. Baseball, where Tom Selleck finds his way in Japan after bottoming out with the New York Yankees.

So, wll Marbury stay in China or return to America if he scored an offer from an NBA side? Whatever happens, it will be interesting. Things always are with Marbury.

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


Larry King: Dwight Howard agreed to Nets trade before Opting-In with Magic

by Hoopsvibe

"You read it here," King said. "Dwight Howard had agreed to be traded to the Nets, but had a last minute change of heart and stayed with the Magic." In subsequent tweets, the veteran newsman declined to reveal his source and said "if Dwight wants to comment, I can’t tell Dwight what to say."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Remember Larry King?

King was a legendary reporter and CNN interviewer before giving way to Piers Morgan, the humorous Brit’ and former gossip rag editor.

While the ‘Larry-Legend’ of the talk-show circuit was dialled in with presidents, kings, dictators, rock stars, comics, and actors, it remains to be seen how connected he is to the world of the NBA -especially with a superstar like Dwight Howard.

So I’m not sure how to take his tweet that Howard agreed to a trade to the New Jersey Nets before changing his mind and opting-in with the Orlando Magic for 2013.

It’s entirely possible, though. Remember, Howard changed his mind like a Hollywood socialite changes shoes.

Initially, he wanted out of Orlando, even requesting a trade. Then he wanted to stay. Then he wanted a trade. And then he wasn’t sure.

The flip-flopping and speculation continued until Howard surprisingly opted-in on trade deadline morning, which was followed by an awkward press conference.

Of course, the Magic had to protect themselves, so they surely pursued a trade with the Nets, while also trying to convince Howard to stay.

Fortunately, for the Magic it worked. Howard is staying. For now.

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

Blazers trade Marcus Camby to Rockets

by Hoopsvibe

Blazers trade center Marcus Camby to Houston Rockets, a source tells Y!


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Portland is having a fire sale.

The Trail Blazers are rebuidling, so every peice – other than Nicholas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge – can be had for some combination of draft picks and expiring contracts.

Earlier in the day, Gerald Wallace was sent to the New Jersey Nets. Now Marcus Camby is a Houston Rocket. Expect Jamal Crawford and perhaps Ray Felton to have new homes by the end of the day, too.

Much of this can traced to Greg Oden’s injury and Brandon Roy retiring. Without these two pieces, Rip City has decided to rebuild.

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



Blazers send Wallace to Nets for Okur, Williams, and draft pick

by Elijah Abramson

The Nets send Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 draft pick protected thru No. 3, sources tell Y! Nets trying to surround Deron Williams now.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Too little, too late.

The New Jersey Nets have acquired Gerald Wallace because they believe he’ll convince point guard Deron Williams to sign a multi-year extension.

Williams can opt-out of his contract this summer and become a free agent. The Nets, who are moving into a shiny billion dollar stadium in Brooklyn, have hitched their wagon to the star table-setter.

Wallace makes the Nets good, but not good enough for Williams.

D-Will wants a legit co-star  – like dare I say it, Dwight Howard who will play with Orlando for another year – to stay with the Nets long-term. Wallace, a fourth star on a contending team, isn’t of the same ilk as Howard.

The Nets have a rapidly shrinking window to do something significant or Williams likely signs with his hometown Dallas Mavericks this summer.

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

Rumor: Dwight Howard flip-flops, will not opt-in with Magic?

by Hoopsvibe

In a Wednesday night conference call with Orlando Magic officials before the team’s game in San Antonio, Dwight Howard told the Magic that he is not prepared to surrender the option to become a free agent at season’s end, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion… During the call, sources said, Howard told the Magic that staying in Orlando is his first choice. But he also made it clear that he was not prepared to relinquish the (Early Termination Option) ETO in his contract that allows him to become a free agent.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We thought we had closure -of some sorts. Well, we were wrong.

Reports Dwight Howard would opt-in and spend 2012-13 with the Orlando Magic are apparently false.

Howard, reportedly, intends to opt-out of his contract in July, become an unrestricted free agent, and, in all likely-hood, leave the Magic to sign with the New Jersey Nets or Dallas Mavericks.

Here’s the bottom line: what Howard wants no longer matters. Who cares if he opts-in or opts-out?

This saga has gone too far and the Magic can‘t build around a player who allows his personal situation to overshadow, clutter, and take away from team goals.

Consider that Howard-gate 2012 has utterly hijacked the Magic’s season. Otis Smith, Alex Martin, or whoever is in charge must deal Howard -even if that means getting 90 cents on the dollar.

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


Dwight Howard to Magic: ‘Roll the dice’ and let me finish year in Orlando

by Hoopsvibe

Howard would not address the future beyond this year and said he understood there was some risk for the Magic, but hoped they’d roll the dice and keep him in Orlando.

“We’ve been talking for a while and I told them, I want to finish this season out and give our team and give our fans some hope for the future but I feel they have to roll that dice,” sad Howard. “It might be tough but I feel like we’ve got a great opportunity but they’ve got to roll it. “


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard ‘wants’ it both ways.

The All-Star center ‘wants’ to finish the season with the Orlando Magic, but doesn’t ‘want’ to sign a long-term extension.

In other words, Howard ‘wants’ the Magic to assume all the risk. He ‘wants’ his current team to play the odds, telling the front office to ‘roll the dice’ following the Magic’s win over the Heat.

Here’s the thing: well run organizations don’t ‘roll the dice’ or give their star employee what he `wants`, no matter how great he is.

Simply put, the Magic can’t allow Howard to finish the year without having his name on an extension.

`Rolling the dice` would result in Howard opting-out of his contract on July 1st and bolting as a free agent to the New Jersey Nets or Dallas Mavericks.

Under this scenario, the Magic get nothing back. And the Nets and Mavericks would have given up nothing but money to get him.

In fact, some, like NBATV analyst and former coach Sam Mitchell, believe this is why Howard asked to finish the season in Orlando. 

He has already decided to sign with the Nets, but doesn’t want to weaken his next team by having them give up assets in a trade.

In other words, Howard has half a foot in Orlando and a foot and a half in New Jersey. 

Bottom line: the Magic must cut a trade.

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

Rumor: Thunder won’t trade Harden and Ibaka for Howard?

by Hoopsvibe

Oklahoma City is not in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Not giving up Harden/Ibaka. Not happening.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why break up a good thing?

The Oklahoma City Thunder were wise to kybosh the Orlando Magic’s offer of Dwight Howard for James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

After all, Harden and Ibaka are key components of a young Thunder squad that currently has the NBA`s best record and seem poised for greatness.

There’s no point in breaking up their core for the temperamental Howard, who has little interest in re-signing with small market Oklahoma City.

Howard wants a major market to maximize marketing opportunities. Like Los Angeles. Like New York. Maybe Dallas -if he can partner with Deron Williams.

Oklahoma City, even though their building an incredible legacy, isn’t right for Howard.

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

Video: Gerald Green`s EPIC windmill alley-oop

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: From high school lottery pick to Slam Dunk Champion to journeyman to ex-NBA-er.

Gerald Green has seen it all and been through it all. After an extended tour of Europe and China, the athletic swing is making things right in his second tour of the NBA with the New Jersey Nets.

A highlight reel windmill alley-oop won’t hurt his chances of sticking with Avery Johnson’s Nets. Click the video below and see what I mean.

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

Rumor: Magic turned down Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard?

by Hoopsvibe

“I can tell you for a fact the Lakers offered Andrew Bynum and the Magic do not want him,” said a Western Conference executive.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Thanks but no thanks.

Reports indicate the Orlando Magic turned down the Los Angeles Lakers’ offer of emerging All-Star Andrew Bynum for established franchise-face Dwight Howard.

Perhaps the Magic were fearful of Bynum’s health. Perhaps the Magic were holding out for more. Or perhaps, the Magic were hoping Howard would sign an extension.

Bottom line: Magic executive Otis Smith screwed up.

Smith must cut his losses and trade Howard for the best possible offer. And Bynum, a terrific young five, is the best the Magic can get.

The alternative is to wait until summer when Howard opts-out of his contract and likely leaves Orlando as an unrestricted free agent.

Howard prefers Dallas, L.A., and New Jersey/Brooklyn to Orlando, and he has twice asked Smith for a trade.

The Magic braintrust must face reality and accept that Howard is gone. Then they should call the Lakers back and ask if Bynum is still available.

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


Deron Williams wanted Revenge against Jeremy Lin

by Hoopsvibe

Williams added, “I don’t really watch SportsCenter, I don’t really watch too many games, but I do see Twitter. And every three lines was, ‘Jeremy Lin destroys Deron Williams’ in the first game. “And like I said, I had it circled.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In the words of James Brown, it was The Big Payback.

Deron Williams wasn’t happy Jeremy Lin pulled a little ‘Lin-sanity’ magic and led the New York Knicks to victory over the All-Star’s New Jersey Nets.

Williams was especially upset Lin’s play went viral, so he got revenge dropping 38 points on the NBA’s newest sensation last night.

It’s great Williams was motivated to play his best and have success. However, the source of his motivation, twitter, is interesting.

Williams didn’t like getting called out by Lin’s followers on the social media platform, and he was especially upset after reading some re-tweets.

So he got his revenge. And chances are, Williams will circle every meeting with Lin in the future.

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

Rumor: Did Kobe’s ego hurt the Lakers’ chances of getting Dwight Howard?

by Hoopsvibe

Howard stated that there was "no way" he would give up everything he has in Orlando to go to the Lakers and be the third option, a source close to the situation said. Howard certainly wouldn’t mind being a third piece on a star-studded team, similar to the situations in Miami and Boston. However, he was turned off by Bryant’s presentation as it suggested something totally different.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard isn’t interested in being the Third Wheel for the Los Angeles Lakers behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

After all, Howard is the current franchise face and superstar for the Orlando Magic. Being the third amigo, the ‘Tyson Chandler’ of the purple-and-gold, wasn’t a selling point for the NBA‘s best center.

Howard was expecting co-star status when meeting Bryant this summer to discuss joining the Lakers. Instead Bryant told Howard he’d have to wait until he retired, which wasn’t especially appealing.

So Howard has turned his attention elsewhere. His initial wish list -which started with the Nets, Mavericks as well as the Lakers – has expanded to include the Bulls and Celtics.

And if Howard ends up elsewhere, Laker-nation may blame Bryant.

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

Orlando Magic daring Dwight Howard to leave?

by Hoopsvibe

Despite the daily chatter about Dwight Howard’s trade demand, the Orlando Magic are seriously exploring the option now of calling his bluff, believing he can’t walk away from the extra $28-$30 million in guaranteed money they can pay him — and no one else can — in his next contract.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s quite the haircut.

The Orlando Magic are tired of the rumors Dwight Howard will bolt as a free agent in July, so they’re pointing out the obvious: leaving will cost him $30 million.

The Magic can offer $30 million more in an extension than Howard’s top three choices of the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

Of course, money isn’t everything.

Howard may take a discounted salary with Dallas, L.A., and New Jersey -if he feels those squads improve his chances at a championship.

In L.A. and New Jersey/Brooklyn, he’d maximize sponsorships and transition into the entertainment industry, which would offset his ‘reduced’ salary.

The wildcard is Deron Williams, the soon-to-be free agent with the Nets. More and more, it appears Howard and Williams will follow other superstars’ lead and partner-up.

But where?

Perhaps Howard takes less to stay with the Magic, but only if they sign Williams. This would finally give him an elite teammate to battle the rival Miami Heat.

And the rumors would have been for nothing.

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