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Why You Should Expect a Lakers Dynasty - Silver Screen and Roll
At the conclusion of the 2009 NBA Finals, I was convinced that a new Lakers dynasty had begun. Much has changed, both for the Lakers and their competitors, but one thing hasn't — we're watching a Lakers dynasty in the making.
Lakers still unsure about Odom's future plans - LA Daily News
What about Lamar Odom? The Lakers' free-agent negotiations produced a surprising agreement with Artest and a predictable one with Brown, sandwiched around the loss of Ariza to the Houston Rockets. There has been hardly a trickle of information about Odom, however. Today is the first full day free agents can sign new contracts. Artest and Brown signed their deals with the Lakers on Tuesday night. Ariza could have done the same with the Rockets. It's uncertain what Odom's day will bring. He wants to re-sign with the Lakers and the Lakers want him back. There's been a near-total news blackout, however. Odom and the Lakers are said to be far apart in talks for a new, multi-year deal. Precisely how far apart the sides are is anyone's guess.
(Hmmm. Ariza and Artest?)
Artest in L.A., Ariza and Houston; wishing it were different - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Almost a week after the news hit, I'm still not comfortable with the de facto trade that has Houston apparently about to sign Trevor Ariza(notes), with the Los Angeles Lakers pulling Ron Artest(notes) off the free agent market. Even with both players making their hay as defensive stoppers, it's the offensive end that worries me the most, for both of their new teams. The issue of shot creation, and shot allocation, remains my sticking point. Houston needs someone who can create shots, with or without Yao Ming(notes) on the court. Yao will be out, mind you, and Ariza, my friends, doesn't create shots. The Lakers have all the shots they need, Kemo Sabe, and they don't need Ron Artest taking them out of their offense, shooting shots he that should not, making it possible that more efficient players are unable to do their thing. Yes, Ron Artest shot 40 percent from behind the arc last season. But he also shot 40 percent inside of it, and that's ... awful. That's just not good. While taking fewer than four free throws a game.
Ron Artest takes his bow as an incoming Laker: 'It was kind of a no-brainer for me' - Los Angeles Times
From the moment Ron Artest sat down today, after holding up his Lakers jersey No. 37 and after mugging for the cameras during his introductory news conference, he was funny, engaging, honest and open. Artest admitted that he had always wanted to be a Laker and now he had been given that opportunity after signing a five-year guaranteed contract for $33.95 million -- he has a player option for the fifth season. Artest sat next to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, smiled and offered up his first joke."Where is TMZ?" asked Artest, smiling, referring to the celebrity website. "They're not here. That's good news."
Forum Blue And Gold " Fast Break Thoughts
The real numbers that should concern us about Ron Artest: 56, 70, 57, 69. Commenter Stephen pointed out that is how many games Artest has played in each of the last four seasons. Meaning in his best year he missed 12 games, and he has missed as many as 26 in that span (and the last time he played nearly a full season was his second year in the league). It seems weird to think of Artest as injury prone, but the numbers don’t lie (can you imagine the calls of "soft" if Gasol or Dirk had those stats?). As long as he is healthy come playoff time this is not the end of the world, but we should expect him to miss some games this season. We really will need Odom as well.
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We are exceedingly fortunate to have the a new relationship here at Forum Blue and Gold with the greatest center to ever play the game — the six time NBA champion, six time MVP, leading scorer in the history of the game Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
My initial thoughts were that of disbelief and sadness. It had only been a few weeks since the jubilant and joyous Los Angeles Lakers victory parade past Staples Center down to the Memorial Coliseum celebration, and yet already we’re throwing dirt on Trevor Ariza like a distant memory, faded and eroded into oblivion. Have we forgotten his key plays throughout the playoffs that propelled us into the NBA Finals? Have we disregarded his work ethic over the past summer that enabled him to connect on 47.6% of his three pointers in these same playoffs? Have we as a society, become too concerned with today and tomorrow and have disregarded what had happened yesterday?
There will certainly be more significant trades and free-agent signings before training camps open in October. Even so, on the basis of changes already made and not made, here's a perusal of the league's seven most potent teams. Lakers The champs will remain the champs until another team usurps them. Meanwhile, the Lakers are arguably the most intelligent team in the league, and Kobe Bryant's position as the NBA's best player is beyond argument. It's extremely rare for a defending championship squad to make dramatic personnel changes. But Trevor Ariza's signing with Houston created an opportunity for Ron Artest to fulfill his dream of playing with Kobe. By the way, there's no doubt that the Lakers deliberately set up this changeover by low-balling Ariza in their brief contract negotiations. During the forthcoming season, look for Andrew Bynum to take a step forward after taking two steps backward during the playoffs. Also look for Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown to eat up more of Derek Fisher's minutes. And don't be surprised if Adam Morrison's leg finally heals enough for him to run full-speed and command the bounce that will enable him to attack the basket with force. WHAT THE LAKERS STILL NEED: To re-sign Lamar Odom. To find a better backup big than Josh Powell. And, given Sasha Vujacic's erratic shooting, obtain a more reliable backcourt scorer.
Phenomenal Swag: the Fletch T-Shirt Related: Phenomenal Swag
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SLAM ONLINE | " Introducing the New, Lower Salary Cap
As expected, with the world economy being what it is, the NBA’s salary cap was reduced for the ‘09-’10 season. Here’s the official press release from the L: The National Basketball Association today announced that the Salary Cap for the 2009-10 season will be $57.7 million. The tax level for the 2009-10 season has been set at $69.92 million. Any team whose team salary exceeds that figure will pay a $1 tax for each $1 by which it exceeds $69.92 million. The 2008-09 Salary Cap was $58.68 million and the tax level was $71.15 million. Although league-wide revenue increased 2.5% this past season, the decrease in the Salary Cap and tax level for the 2009-10 season is the result of the formula used to set the Cap and tax under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, The mid-level exception, a friend to GMs everywhere, is now set at $5.85 million.
The Silver Lining of the Salary Cap Cloud - TrueHoop By Henry Abbott - ESPN
As ESPN's Marc Stein broke some news about the NBA salary cap level for 2009-2010, and more importantly about some surprising NBA projections about what it might be for 2010-2011. Any team that hoarded cap space for the summer of 2010 is, today, faced with the possibility that they may have far less available than they had hoped. While the memo had bad news for the basketball staffs, looking to spend more and more to acquire talent, I expect the memo was borderline thrilling to some, including poor teams, many owners and the bean counters who worry about teams' balance sheets. There are four ways this memo might make them happy.
- Allen Iverson Wants to Play 6 More Years -- NBA FanHouse
Yao Ming of Houston Rockets gets NBA injury exception - ESPN
The Houston Rockets are still hoping Yao Ming returns next season, but they have been able to cash in on his injury.
Sources: Krzyzewski to coach Team USA in 2012 - FOX Sports on MSN
Sources: Krzyzewski to coach Team USA in 2012
Source: Cavs assistant John Kuester hired as Pistons head coach - NBA - SI.com
The Detroit Pistons have agreed to terms with Cavaliers assistant coach John Kuester to be their new head coach, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told SI.com.
(Ben Gordon. Charlie Villenueva. John Kuester. Detroit, get ready for a prolonged era of mediocrity. Remember 2004, because it will be a while before you're elite again.)
Sources: Memphis Grizzlies part of Shawn Marion to Dallas Mavericks trade - ESPN
It appears that the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors have successfully recruited the Memphis Grizzlies to help them complete a trade that would eventually route free-agent swingman Shawn Marion to the Mavericks, according to NBA front-office sources.
What grabbing Shawn Marion could mean to Dallas - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Dirk might be best in the pivot now, Marion might be best at power forward. You can switch these guys around, up and down, and really spread the floor. If Kidd can come close to last season's shooting exploits, he'll be fine, and Jason Terry has been pulling off this shooting touch for years. I'd be surprised if he falls off. Big name, big contract, added to a team that is high on star power but low on depth, well short of the Lakers. I should hate it, but I dig the move for Dallas.
LeBron James joins the big (media) players at Sun Valley - Los Angeles Times
Kobe Bryant may have four championship rings, but it's the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James who wrangled an invitation to hobnob with moguls at this week's Allen & Co. media-industry conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. James, who already has ties to the New York investment bank and is busy building his own empire, will be in good company. One would think with the economy in tatters and layoffs and cost-cutting the order of the day, attendance at what's been described as "summer camp for billionaires" would be down.
(Hat tip to Ball Don't Lie. Just another reason why I think he is going to leave Cleveland. This man wants the money, power and respect. 1% of the World style. You think Cleveland is the place for him to attain that level? He'll make New York into whatever they have in Cleveland. Trust me. But Cleveland can't give him the level of fame and fortune he wants, and can attain by being in New York. He wants more than just being a rich NBA player. That's major.)
LeBron Hates the 1st Amendment, Getting Dunked On - Silver Screen and Roll
On Monday, Jordan Crawford, a sophomore at Xavier (by way of Indiana), reportedly dunked on LeBron during a pick-up game at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Garry Parrish of CBSSports.com wrote that one high school player said, "it was bad". (We can only assume he meant "bad" in the Michael Jackson sort of way.) LeBron must have agreed, because he had Nike officials confiscate the two videos that were taken of the dunk. (Parrish blames Nike, but reading between the lines it seems like the censorship was orchestrated by LeBron himself.)
Jordan Crawford Discusses His Controversial Dunk on LeBron James -- NBA FanHouse
The smart move, of course, is to just let the video surface and run its natural course. Or, alternately, instead of just taking the video, pay the camera man $10,000 to hand it over. It could have been that easy. OR, and this might be crazy, but what about a "Witness: Mortality" commercial? "Because Even Kings Can Be Human Sometimes Too." It's endearing, it's honest and, frankly, would have been refreshing. (Yes, I know, sometimes I think I'm in the wrong business too.)
Dramatization: LeBron Dunked on at Camp - SportingNews.com - The Baseline
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