The Lakers lose an A only to get an A+

10-year veteran Ron Artest is heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, and he will surely be paying some fees for his extra baggage. The move comes after Trevor Ariza, an important part of the Lakers championship run, turned down the team’s multi-year offer. In basically performing a trade without the trade, the two free agents will swap jerseys as Ariza has agreed in principle to a deal with Houston worth $5.8 million for next season, with long term talks on the table. So what does the Artest move mean for the defending champions, and which Artest will they be paying those millions to?

Coming to Hollywood with a shady and checkered past, Artest unfortunately will always be rememkobe_artest_400bered by his participation in the Auburn Hills brawl on November 19, 2004 when he played for the Indiana Pacers. However, I would like to argue that last year with the Rockets was a huge step forward in the maturation process of the forward, who meshed well with his teammates and showed leadership qualities as Houston pushed the Lakers to a game seven in the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers are not only getting the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year who, for his career, has averaged 2.1 steals per game, they are getting the “I have learned from my past mistakes Artest”.

In an interview with ESPN, Artest was asked about why he decided to take less money and play for the Lakers. His response: “I am playing to win; I am not playing for the money anymore”. If you just had a Karl Malone and Gary Payton flashback, you are not alone. However the difference here is that Artest is only 29 and coming off a stellar season. The next big question is what will happen to Lamar Odom? In an ESPN interview, expert NBA Analyst Ric Bucher reported the chances of Odom signing with the Lakers is “good”, stating that the two sides can focus on the contract now that Ariza is out, and that there are limited suitors for Odom around the league. If Odom stays on board, I’m putting my money on the Lakers for a repeat.

An article by David Peterson- our most recent addition to our committee will be found under the writing name: Davepete starting tomorrow

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The Power of Facebook and Twitter

Facebook has indeed been around for a good while and Twitter has been blowing up as of the past year, but tkevin-love copy(1)hese two social media platforms can really do work for you if you so choose. About a month ago I was logged on to my Twitter account, Twitter.com/DinoGomez, and I was watching Around the Horn on ESPN. The discussion on the show turned towards Kevin Love’s Twitter page and his tweets regarding the NBA finals. The panel was arguing over whether Love’s tweets were insightful and they were discussing the whole idea of pro athletes on Twitter. After seeing this I decided to send a tweet directed at Kevin Love but that everybody could see on Twitter which said, “Hey the crew on Around the Horn was just discussing you and your tweets about the NBA finals. Good stuff.”

About twenty minutes later or so Kevin Love sent me a tweet back that was directed at Dino Gomez, one that everybody could see. ” What did they say about me.”

I didn’t get that tweet until a day or two later since I had logged off at the time, but it was great to see that Kevin Love responded directly to me . Of course I then recited to him what the panel on the show was saying about his Twitter account and the discussion between us ended. Now you may be thinking that because our conversation was so quick and consise that it was un-important. However that is why Twitter is so powerful, you can gain information so quickly and easily. I know Kevin Love went online to see exaclty what the panel on the show was saying about him as soon as I tweeted him because in a later tweet he referenced that he was a discusssion point on the show. In other words I was his first outlet to that information. The point I’m getting at is Facebook and Twitter will allow you to communicate with those individuals that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Therefore it is important that you use these platforms advantageously to speak with others and stay current on sporting news if you so choose.

Trade News

Here’s a quick update on some developing trade news.  The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to send Mike Miller and Randy Foye to the Washington Wizards.  In return the Timberwolves receive Etan Thomas, Darius SoBangngaila, Oleksiy Pecherov (who?) and the fifth overall pick in tomorrow’s draft.  This means that Minnesota now has both the 5th and 6th picks in the NBA draft.  Will Minnesota continue to wheel and deal?  With time running out, we are bound to find out soon.  In any case, unless something happens, Thabeet, Rubio and Griffin will likely be off the board.  On another note, the Wizards are now stacked with scorers.

In Oakland, it looks like the Warriors are close to moving Jamal Crawford.  According to ESPN, the possible deal has the Atlanta Hawks sending Acie Law and Speedy Claxton to the Warriors for Crawford.  It’s not much of a surprise considering the Glut of scoring guards and forwards on the Warriors already.  More interesting however, is the possible significance that this deal would have on the Mike Bibby contract negotiations.

The next few days are bound to be fun as teams continue to scramble.  We’ll keep you updated.  Also look for a Pac10 basketball preview in the near future.

What does this Lakers Championship really mean?

An article by David Peterson.

I have heard it over a hundred times…”Kobe can’t win a championship without Shaq“. ESPN made sure to tagline this past finals series between the Lakers and Magic as Kobe’s quest for a ring of his own. But can the Lake87746142AB051_LAKERS_NUGGETSrs recent title be watered down to simply acknowledging that Kobe led the re-built Lakers back to the top of the NBA world? I would like to argue otherwise.

There is no doubt that Kobe Bryant was dominating in the playoffs and deserved finals MVP honors. However, without the addition of Trevor Ariza, the stronger play of Lamar Odom, and a healthy Andrew Bynum, the Lakers would have been in the same spot as last year, when they walked out of TD Banknorth Garden with green and white confetti falling to the court. The fact is this: Kobe is Kobe, a dominant, consistent, top 5 player in NBA history. However, he alone cannot win an NBA title. Jordan had Pippen, Rodman, Harper, and Kukoc. Kobe now has Pau Gasol, whom Magic Johnson calls “the second best skinny big man in the NBA behind Kevin Garnett“, as well as Trevor Ariza, who is the most athletic player on the team and who came up with some of the biggest steals in playoff history. Throw in strong play from Lamar Odom and an emerging star in Andrew Bynum, and you have a team with no visible weakness or flaws.

This Lakers team, and this championship season, is much more than Kobe getting the Shaq monkey off his back, it’s the beginning of another Lakers dynasty. This team is built to win two more titles within the next three years. Now it’s just up to Mitch Kupchak to keep the team together and Phil Jackson to somehow find another finger for his next ring. Parting words of wisdom: WARNING-don’t ever leave Fisher open for a crucial 3, you will get burned!

Steve Nash is Hilarious

Alright so I’m slightly late with this one but that doesn’t matter because it’s still worth viewing. Below is a video of Steve Nash on the David Letterman Show after game 3 of the NBA finals. To put it simply, Nash is hilarious. He is a natural with a mike in hand and I’m hoping once he retires he jumps on board with ESPN because it would be great to see more of this.

Lil Wayne raps about Kobe Bryant

One of this year’s biggest emerging rap stars is a fan of Kobe Bryant. Lil Wayne, the son of Bird Man, wrote a song very recently in tribute to Kobe Bryant’s dominance on the court. Now as much as I dislike Bryant for threatening Michael Jordan’s brilliance when he played, Bryant is one of the best in the league and deserves a song about his efforts.

Stephen A. Smith, an NBA analyst for ESPN, starts the track by explaining why Bryant is in many opinions, the best there is in the league. This is truly a great song and as always Lil Wayne will make you laugh with an impressive array of rhymes and lines. As Wayne sings in the song, ” Don’t worry Lebron, get’em next year.”

Magic vow to give better effort in game 2?

nba finals 2009 schedule lakers vs magicThe NBA Fastbreak crew on ESPN is awesome. Jalen Rose always knows exaclty what the game plan is for both teams before the game and gives accurate analysis after as well as he stirs up interesting conversation. The other day Rose and his crew were speaking about the poor effort that the Orlando Magic gave in game one of the NBA Finals. Dwight Howard, the starting center and rising superstar for the Magic, said that his team will give a much better effort in game 2 of the finals series on Sunday. Rose reacted to this comment by asking the NBA Fastbreak crew why in the world wouldn’t the Magic be giving complete effort in the first game of the series in which they got hammered by the Los Angles Lakers. What a great question. What was Orlando thinking in Game 1? Why as Howard admitted are they having to put forth more effort in game 2? Shouldn’t they be matching the effort put forth in game one and hopefully the ball will bounce better for them and they make escape with a win? After all it is the NBA finals. As professional basketball players where your job is to play this game, when your teams makes it to the NBA Finals you better be going full steam after the ball all the time! How ridiculous that the captain of this team feels that his teammates weren’t giving full effort. Either way the NBA and all their fans want to see a closer game 2 on Sunday and an exciting series from here on out which means the Magic guards better hit a jump shot and Dwight Howard needs to average 20 points a game.