Kobe Bryant’s Basketball IQ and Ron Artest’s Odd Halftime Ritual

A poll among coaches and players determined that Kobe Bryant has the highest basketball IQ among active players.  Speaking of Kobe Bryant, he (among other athletes) wore red laces (that looked orange) for the Lakers‘ game against the Hornets last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Ron Artest claims he drank Hennessy at halftime during his Bull days.  Chicago Bulls, that is.

Artest for Ariza, What’s going on?

LAKERS VS ROCKETS

RA for TA.  Ron Artest was virtually traded for Trevor Ariza.  What’s going on here???

It’s called “David Lee” (the agent, not the player).  I’m beginning to hate this agent.  I almost forgot how he handled Andrew Bynum‘s last contract negotiation with the Lakers.  I feel for Trevor.  Do you think he’s thinking of firing his agent later?

Here’s the story:   The Lakers were willing to pay the full MLE to Trevor Ariza up to five years, totalling  approximately $33.8 million.  The agent played hardball and asked for something in the $50 million range.  The Lakers told Lee to test the market first, obviously to see if that asking price is qualified.  Apparently, Lee was offended by this stance, looked somewhere else and found, surprise surprise, the Rockets with approximately the same MLE price!

How dumb is that?  Too bad Ariza had to play along.  David Lee played poker using Trevor Ariza‘s stock.  He bluffed and lost… lost Trevor’s luck playing for a great NBA franchise. Read More

Ron Artest to the Lakers, so long Trevor?

Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets NBA Game 7 Western Conference semifinals in Los Angeles

Ron Artest to the Lakers is not yet official but it looks like we’re just waiting for the formalities.

I don’t necessarily like this deal but this is a great pick up, knowing the Lakers could not afford Trevor Ariza.  Ariza is good and he probably deserves the $7 million to $8 million he was asking but in this Laker team where you have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, that price is a stretch.

It’s what they call “the business side of basketball”.  I hate it but that’s what it is.  Like I said, I like Trevor Ariza for the Lakers better than Ron Artest.

I’m not a cap or negotiation guru but my ideal deal for Trevor Ariza and the Lakers would’ve been the $5.6 million mid-level exception for Ariza for 2 or 3 years and then he can get his big payday after that when Lamar Odom has started to decline at 33 years old.  That is also assuming that Odom takes a 2 to 3 year contract himself. Read More

Will the Lakers make a trade?

I have a feeling that the Lakers will try to make a trade.  I feel they need a more consistent shooter (ala James Posey).  I feel Sasha Vujacic and Vladimir Radmanovic are inconsistent shooters.

And why is Vlade not playing the past two games?  Is Phil Jackson protecting him from possible injury knowing that a trade is in the works?  I understand that Vlade can’t start but not play him for two whole games? Something’s fishy here and I’m not even talking about Derek, yet.

Of the two, I think Vlade is the more tradeable player, if we set aside his salary for the moment. Read More

Artest acquired by the Rockets

Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Bobcats

For Bobby Jackson, Donte Green, the 2009 draft pick and over $1 million in cash, Artest has been acquired by the Rockets.

The Lakers have been rumored to be frontrunners in the bid for Artest.  In my opinion, Artest would be a risky experiment for the Lakers.  Odom would have been traded for Artest and between the two, Artest is the more unpredictable one.  To make the long story short, the Lakers would be better off experimenting Odom’s play, than Artest’s, with Bynum around.

However, Artest’s “flight” to Houston doesn’t make the Lakers’ chances of succeeding next season any better.  Now, Houston has its own big 3 in Ming, McGrady and Artest… and a defensive specialist to boost (Battier).  Wow, with Battier, Artest, and Ming, they will have a defensive line to die for. Read More