Raptors Do The Harlem Shake

by Daniel Henriquez

Harlem Shake Raptors Edition

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Harlem Shake is taking over the internet and Raptors put their own goofy spin on it.


Steve Nash has ‘No Clue’ if he’ll stay in Phoenix

by Christopher Sells

On the chances of him staying in Phoenix: “Honestly, I have no clue. I couldn’t predict. I don’t know what the future holds at this point. And I’m actually OK with that. I think now’s the time to maybe get some distance from it and try to find a clear perspective on where I am. Until I do that, I couldn’t put a number on it or take a guess on what the chances are on whether I’ll be back or not.”

Steve Nash has ‘No Clue’ if he’ll stay in Phoenix


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the end of the line for Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns.

Although fit and productive, Nash is in his late thirties and the window to win a championship is quickly closing. In fact, that window is shut if he re-ups with the Suns -as Robert Sarver’s club is starting to rebuild.

So expect the two-time MVP and first ballot Hall of Fame table-setter to head elsewhere for the Mid Level Exception in July when he hits free agency.

A few possibilities:

  • The Miami Heat could use a veteran point guard; however, Nash would, at times, have to play off the ball if he wanted to successfully partner with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
  • Mike D’Antoni, the architect of Seven Seconds or Less, is gone, but the New York Knicks could use help even if Jeremy Lin makes a full recovery and re-signs in 2013.
  • The Raptors need some sort of shtick to sell tickets and keep fans interested. Nash, a patriotic Canadian, could be open to heading north of the border despite Toronto being thousands of miles from his home of Victoria, British Columbia.

There’s an argument that Nash will re-sign with the Suns because his three children live with his ex-wife in Phoenix, Arizona. Of course, family matters. But Nash is, and always has been, highly competitive. His drive took him from being an unheralded Canadian prospect to one of the faces of the NBA.

And his drive will force him to leave Phoenix and most likely sign with a competitive squad next season.

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

Charles Barkley: Kentucky Wildcats could beat Toronto Raptors

by Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley offered his bit of infinite wisdom on how good the Wildcats are. His prognosis? They are good enough to beat the Toronto Raptors. But the Charlotte Bobcats? Not so much.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Kentucky Wildcats are talented, but not that talented.

Sure, the Wildcats – led by the great Anthony Davis – have five or six talented pieces that will play in the NBA. And sure, these Wildcats could win the NCAA tournament.

Here’s the thing: the Toronto Raptors, despite sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, are loaded with talented pieces. Every player on their roster was either a blue-chip college piece, a prep-to-pro stud, or a Euro’ super prospect.

So there’s no way the Wildcats, as talented as they are, could beat the Raptors.

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

Report: Raptors send Barbosa to Pacers for 2nd round pick

by Hoopsvibe

Indiana Pacers acquiring guard Leandro Barbosa in a trade with Toronto Raptors, source tells Y!


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A smart swap for the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors.

Team Bird gets Barbosa -a reliable, combo guard with the ability to push the ball and score. Best of all, ‘The Brazilian Blur’ is a low key veteran who has the experience to assist a younger squad in the playoffs.

The Raptors weren’t re-signing the former Sixth Man of the Year, as Barbosa would surely leave as a free agent in July. So they did well to get a draft pick.

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


Video: Jeremy Lin’s Game-Winning 3 beats Raptors

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The legend continues.

Yesterday, Jeremy Lin sank a game-winning three-pointer against Toronto, breaking Raptor fans hearts on Valentine’s Day. Still, some went home happy knowing they caught their own piece of Linsanity.

Watch the video and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts.

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

Video: Kobe Bryant still has ice in veins with winning shot vs. Raptors

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s still has ice in his veins. Always has, in fact.

This weekend Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant showed he still has ice in his veins by nailing a game-winning jumper against the struggling Toronto Raptors.

Click the video and see what we’re talking about.

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

Rumor: Toronto Raptors to trade Jose Calderon?

by Hoopsvibe

That doesn’t mean he’s poised to ask for a trade — "I don’t think so, that’s not me, that’s not my personality," Calderon said — but the 30-year-old left the undeniable sense that he wouldn’t oppose a move away from the rebuilding Raps if the opportunity materializes.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The struggling Toronto Raptors must do something -like finally parting with point guard Jose Calderon.

The Spaniard doesn’t fit with the Dinos. After all, the Raptors are young, cheap, and defensive-minded, while Calderon is 30-years old, expensive, and can’t get stops.

There’s a bigger issue: Bryan Colangelo could be in trouble.

The former Executive of the Year has failed to right the Raptors, and maybe running out of time, especially with Rogers/Bell buying the NBA property from the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund.

So moving Calderon would provide a distraction, albeit a short one, from the real issue for Colangelo.

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

Video: Jason Richardson denied by the rim

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Wasn`t Jason Richardson a former Slam Dunk champion?

Well, you`d never know watching him get rejected by the rim in a game between the Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors.

Click the video below, watch Richardson`s epic failure, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box.

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


Chris Bosh: ‘I want to be the best player in the NBA’

by Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: I want to be the best player in the NBA. Maybe not this year or the year after next, but one day…’”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, it’s good to have a goal, I suppose.

Chris Bosh isn’t even the best or second best player on his Miami Heat, as that distinction belongs to superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Bosh is a very good player, a perennial All-Star, a third option on a great team, but I don’t ever see him being ‘The Guy’ in the NBA.

However, he played his best basketball with the Toronto Raptors at a bulked up weight, after spending a few months in the gym on conditioning.

His game went to another level. He could still use his skill at the high post or mix it up in the paint on both ends of the floor.

Last year, Bosh arrived at Heat camp out of shape. Instead of lifting weights, he got caught enjoying the hoopla of The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.

It’s worth noting that Bosh has arrived in superb condition. And perhaps he returns to his top form like when with the Raptors.

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

Report: Suns to buyout Carter?

by Hoopsvibe

The Phoenix Suns will move forward without Vince Carter on their roster. Carter’s full $18 million salary for this season would have been guaranteed if not released within 72 hours of the official start of free agency.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In Toronto, he was touted as the face of the NBA. In New Jersey, he was a perennial All-Star. In Orlando, he was tabbed as the final piece of the puzzle.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Sometime over the next few days, the Phoenix Suns are expected to exercise the opt-out clause on the final year of Vince Carter’s contract.

The club would rather pay the $4 million buyout and have Carter walk then fork out $18 million for the 2012 season.

Carter will become a free agent. And there will be interest in his services, however, he’ll be lucky to get the Mid Level Exception.

After all, Carter’s days as a high flyer are over. Too often, he avoids contact and settles for perimeter fade-aways and off balance jump shots.

The next few days provide Carter a final shot at salvaging something from a mostly disappointing career.

–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.

DeMar DeRozan: ‘I’m more comfortable’ shooting three-pointers

by Hoopsvibe

My three-point shooting has been a lot better. I’m more comfortable with it. I’m a lot stronger and a lot more confident. That’s one aspect I definitely feel comfortable with now.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: DeMar DeRozan is about to become a pick your poison player.

The Toronto Raptors swing recently told the National Post he spent his entire off-season stretching his range by developing a three-point shot.

Of course, DeRozan can get to the basket at will. He has a lightning-quick first step and is electric when attacking.

So defenders sloughed off DeRozan. They dared him to fire away from the outside, content to neutralize his tremendous athleticism and not become his next youtube victim.

According to DeRozan, this will no longer work. The South California native is confident he’ll punish sagging defenders with his three-point shot.

Improved range will help DeRozan take the next step and become an All-Star. After all, Derrick Rose spent the summer of 2010 improving his three-point shot and won MVP.

Such an exponential jump in stature won’t be the case for DeRozan as his Raptors are a work in progress. A three point shot will make him a handful for defenders, though.


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

Tracy McGrady’s NBA Legacy – When was he ever underrated?

by J.N.

I’m laughing at the notion. Actually, everyone should be laughing because when the hell was Tracy McGrady ever underrated? We’re not talking about Mark Aguirre underrated here. Aguirre never made all NBA First teams and never averaged 32.1 points per game for a season. McGrady retired two years ago and the T-Mac today is nothing but a rusty old aging robot for the Detroit Pistons. I’m trying to give the idea a thought – was McGrady underrated at any point in his career? 


Dwyane Wade not sure if Three Kings is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for NBA

by Hoopsvibe

Love or hate the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade knows that he and teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh set a trend the rest of the NBA will follow for years. “Yes, we have,” Wade said. “I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but more guys are going to look to team up and do things like that.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You can’t fault them for what they did. You can, however, fault them for how they did it.

Yesterday Dwyane Wade told media he, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James started a trend for superstar free agents last summer by signing with the Miami Heat.

He’s right. The days of one superstar leading a contender is over. The crème de la crème have to partner up to win an NBA Championship (of course, the new collective bargaining agreement may change this).

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s nothing wrong with great players seeking each other out and deciding to play together.

Free agency is about choice, right?

In fact, it shows this trio values the collective experience of winning more than being The Man on a second rate franchise.

So credit Bosh, James, and Wade for deciding to share, but criticize Bosh, James, and Wade for the way they came to this decision.

Last July, Bosh and Wade took the cameras everywhere. They talked about making a documentary on their free agent experiences; they fired off annoying, mindless tweets.

Bosh, in particular, showed a lack of respect for the Toronto Raptors, the team he led for the previous seven years.

Then there was James. ‘The Decision’ was an exercise in how not to handle free agency. He went from beloved superstar to hated villain.

Bosh and Wade also became bad guys when they pranced on stage and held a championship celebration -even though they hadn’t won a game or practiced together.

Wade is right. The Three Kings started a trend for free agent superstars. Some of it was good; some of it was bad.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Vince Carter’s NBA Legacy

by J.N.

I just watched a Youtube clip featuring Vince Carter slipping on a banana peel against the Charlotte Bobcats during a cross over move. I do not know what to make of it. He could have stepped on a wet spot. Yep, that’s what it was; a wet spot. Got it. I’m also taking it as a sign to think about his career. The high flying explosive Vince Carter disappeared after 2008 and currently does not live here. 


How Good? – DeMar DeRozan’s Potential

by J.N.

Toronto Raptor fans do not have much to celebrate. They have been in lockout mode since 2009. The lockout shouldn’t be a problem because they have been in tank mode. The Raptor fans are more concerned with getting the top pick in any draft. Do you remember Master P and the No Limit Soldiers gold tank in the “Make em say uggghh” music video? Yep. Just like that; a solid gold tank.


Video: Raptors pick Jonas Valanciunas can play

by Hoopsvibe

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Bryan Colangelo was on the hot seat. Until now.

The Toronto media attacked the Raptors’ lead executive for drafting a little-known Lithuanian named Jonas Valanciunas fifth overall in the 2011 draft.

The thinking was simple: Valanciunas, at 18, can’t step in and help the troubled Raptors, who need immediate help.

Then the Euro’ tag came up. The critics, myself included, wondered why Colangelo had selected another foreign talent from a newly formed nation on the other side of the Atlantic.

Had we not seen this act before?  Had we not seen this act fail -miserably?

It seems the Raptors knew something we did not. Valanciunas can play. The five-man recently led Lithuania to the gold medal at the U19 World Championship, averaging 23 points and 14 rebounds per game.

Watch the video and tell us what you think of Valanciunas in the comment box below?

–Oly Sandor.

Sonny Weems leaves Raptors, heads to Europe

by Hoopsvibe

Sonny Weems has decided to take advantage of his overseas eligibility and is on the verge of signing a one-year contract with a team in Europe, according sources close to the situation.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the right move for Sonny Weems -even if there’s no opt-out clause when the lockout ends.

The energetic swing needs regular minutes in order to reach his full potential as a solid rotation player in the NBA.

A work stoppage would hurt him. So would returning to the Toronto Raptors, who are suddenly crowded at the two-three spots.

Signing a contract in Europe gives Weems a guaranteed income, playing time, and an opportunity to hone his craft.

He can then return to the NBA in July of 2012, where a market for his services should exist.

–Oly Sandor.

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


Barbosa opts-in; discussing long-term extension with Raptors

by Andrew Flint

It appears Leandro Barbosa will not be heading back to Brazil after all. Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo told QMI Agency Saturday afternoon that Barbosa has picked up his $7.6 million U.S. player option for the 2011-2012 season. Barbosa beat a midnight deadline to make a call.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement for player and team.

The player, Leandro Barbosa, gets another year with the Toronto Raptors at $7.6 million. The Brazilian is still productive, but wouldn’t command such a wage as a free agent.

After all, Barbosa is no longer a perennial candidate for Sixth Man of the Year or even a top reserve. Injuries and age have taken a toll.

There’s also uncertainty surrounding the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new CBA will alter the league’s financial landscape, limiting the leverage a veteran like Barbosa would have on the open market.

So taking the guaranteed money made sense. It was a no-brainer.

However, the Raptors are also pleased. Barbosa will model professionalism for the team’s younger core. And he still has moments as an off-the-bench, game-changer; new coach Dwane Casey will take advantage of his speed on defense.

Word is Barbosa and the Raptors are talking extension. And this mutually beneficial arrangement will likely continue past 2012.

–Oly Sandor.

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

Breakdown of 2011 NBA Draft, Picks 1-10

by Hoopsvibe

Finally, the NBA Draft is here. The gossip, speculation, and home videos of mysterious Euro prospects is no more.

Below is how things officially unfolded in real time, with live analysis at the HoopsVibe News headquarters. So get at us with thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comment box below.

1) Kyrie Irving to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PG, 6-2, 181, Duke Blue Devils, Fr.

Pros: Irving is a good athlete, who uses his quickness and feel for the game to attack the basket. He’s smart, tough, and had little issue leading more experienced teammates during the NCAA tournament.

While Irving is a good athlete, he isn’t explosive or big. And he missed much of his freshmen year with a toe injury. So the New Jersey native is a risk.

Fit: He’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t follow Baron Davis’ training routine or try to replace that LeBron guy.

2) Derrick Williams to Minnesota Timberwolves.

Details: PF, 6-9, 248, Arizona Wildcats, So.

He’s a pick-your-poison scorer. In his second season, Williams improved his ability to attack the basket, while also being able to knock down jump shots. This combination of skill and athleticism should make Williams a difficult match-up for opposing defenses.    

Some feel Williams is a ‘tweener’, stuck between the 3 and 4 spots. And they’re unsure if his athleticism can compensate for his 6-9 height,   

Fit: Is there room for Kevin Love, Mike Beasley, and Williams in the frontcourt?

3) Enis Kanter to Utah Jazz.

Details: C, 6-10, 260, Turkey, 19 years of age.

Pros: Strong, skilled, and tough is how most describe Kanter. His polished game and physical tools should make a pretty good NBA player.

Cons: Kanter is undersized and not especially explosive for a five-man. And can his knee hold up to the grind of an NBA season?

Fit: His strong IQ and blue-collar approach makes him perfect for the Jazz.

4) Tristan Thompson to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PF, 6-9, 225, University of Texas, Fr.

Pros: Thompson should have a nice NBA career because of his wingspan, improving body, and lefty skill-set. His energy and work on the glass is also a plus.

Cons: Despite shedding baby fat, Thompson is still a little undersized to handle NBA power forwards. 

Fit: The Canadian can play, but going fourth overall was a surprise. He’ll need time to develop his offensive game for the Cavs.

5) Jonas Valanciunas to Toronto Raptors

Details: PF, 6-10, 230, Lithuania, 18 years old.

Pros: Valanciunas is an energetic player, who is active on the offensive glass and gets his share of put-back points. At 18, some believe he has the most upside of any player in the draft.

Cons: He’s extremely raw and could take several years before making an impact.

Fit: Of course, GM Bryan Colangelo had to take a Euro. But the young Lithuanian has a chance to be real good.

6) Jan Vesely to Washington Wizards.

Details: PF, 6-11, 240, Czech Republic, 21 years old.

Pros: He’s not your typical Euro. Long, athletic, and explosive, Vesely loves to get up the floor and throw down monster jams. His length and versatility makes him a force on both ends of the floor.

Cons: Vesely needs to extend his offensive range beyond put-backs and highlight reel jams.

Fit: Strap up Washington. This kid is a walking highlight reel.

7) Bismack Biyombo to Sacramento Kings (picking for Charlotte Bobcats).

Details: PF, 6-9, 243, Congo, 19 years old.

Pros: He’s an athlete. Biyombo has scouts drooling with his frame, wingspan, leaping ability, and quickness.

Cons: But he’s raw. Many of those same scouts are worried about his lack of skill and age.

Fit: Some say he couldn’t score if locked in a gym by himself. He also needs to negotiate a buyout with his FIBA club. But he’s an incredible athlete.

8) Brandon Knight to Detroit Pistons.

Details: PG/SG, 6-3, 177, Kentucky University, So.

Pros: Knight was always a terrific scorer, but showed he could involve others towards the end of his season at Kentucky. His athleticism and outside range makes him a strong prospect. 

Cons: Some feel he’s more of a shooting guard than a natural point guard.

Fit: Hopefully, he survives a Piston team that was highly dysfunctional in 2011.

9) Kemba Walker to Charlotte Bobcats.

Details: PG, 6-1, 172, University of Connecticut, Jr.

Pros: Walker has the ‘quicks’ to get to the basket and can also punish sagging defenders with his much-improved jumper. This made him unstoppable during his terrific 2011 season at UCONN.  
Cons: Well, size. Walker plays like a shooting guard, but has the body of a point guard.

Fit: Walker will bring leadership and confidence to Michael Jordan’s Bobcats.

10) Jimmer Fredette to Sacramento Kings.

Details: PG, 6-2, 190, Bringham Young Unviersity, Sr.

Pros: He’s a magical shooter with a cult-like following at Bringham Young University. 

Cons: Can he defend NBA point guards? Is he a point guard? 

Fit: Fredette`s range will mesh nicely with Tyreke Evans and the offensive-minded Kings.

–Oly Sandor.

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