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NBA

Ron Artest to Play with the Cheshire Jets in the UK

NBA superstar Ron Artest is heading to the UK for transfer talks after agreeing to play for Cheshire Jets.  The LA Lakers forward – one of the best players in world basketball – has been in negotiations for weeks with directors of the Chester-based club over appearing for them during the ongoing NBA ‘lockout’.

America’s top stars are banned from playing professionally in the States while the NBA and the players’ union try to settle a pay dispute.

In a moment of opportunism earlier this month, Jets made an enquiry about luring Artest to the UK – and, incredibly, he is willing to come over and play for them.

Now the two parties have agreed to meet face-to-face to thrash out the finer details of what would surely be the biggest transfer coup in British basketball history.

Jets director Pete Hawkins said: “I spoke to Ron’s representatives on Tuesday night. We have agreed the fundamentals of the deal and Ron is coming over (to England) in a few weeks.

“What we need to do is match up our timetables because we need him here for the start of the season, but there is a bit of a clash of timetables.

“If we can sort that out then the deal will be done, but talks are ongoing so hopefully we can get everything straight-ened out in time.”

Jets were alerted to the possible availability of Artest after he made comments on the social networking website Twitter about his willingness to play in the UK.

The club’s sensational interest in the player made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic after the story was broken exclusively by The Chronicle on July 7.

Artest is now scheduled to come over to Britain to meet Jets officials in September before returning home to fulfil other commitments, which are likely to rule him out of the start of the British Basketball League campaign.

FULL STORY HERE

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2009-2010 NBA Award Winners

Most Valuable Player

Winner Lebron James

For the second year in a row, Cleveland Cavalier’s superstar Lebron James has won the MVP title.  Winning two consecutive years makes him only the 10th NBA player to do so, with the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird.  Having the best year statistically of his career LBJ averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists, not only getting his team to 60 wins AGAIN, but also the best record in the league.  Truly well a deserved title.

 

Defensive Player Of The Year

Winner Dwight Howard

Clearly ahead of the pack in this category, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic has been named Defensive Player Of the Year.  A dominant presence in the paint, many coaches dedicate time to figure out just how to get around him.  This season he led the league in rebounding, blocked shots, field goal percentage, and double doubles.  Howard has become the first player in league history to lead the league in rebounds, and FG % all in one season.  He also became the first player to lead the league in rebounding and block shots more than once, and the fifth player to lead the league in rebounding for three or more consecutive seasons.  All those stats and records alone prove his deserving of this title, hell even merely watching him on the court proves it all, a truly athletic individual.

Rookie Of The Year

Winner Tyreke Evans

This was clearly the year of breakout rookie guards such as Brandon Jennings scoring 55 pts in a game and the amazing Stephen Curry who clocked in 5 games with 30 points and 10 assists.  So why did Tyreke Evans receive the award?  It all came down to CONSISTENCY.  Throughout the entire season he was the only rookie to establish himself as a team leader with consistent stats.  Jennings appeared to hit a wall and had up and down stats, Curry’s run came too late in the season.  Evans became the fourth player in league history to average 20 points 5 assists and 5 rebounds in his rookie year.  He’s joined by Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James, if that isn’t impressive company then I don’t know what is…

Sixth Man of the Year

Winner Jamal Crawford

After seven long seasons on losing teams Jamal Crawford has finally seen the light that is the playoffs and a Sixth Man of the Year award to go along with it.  This award and postseason action is surely a breath of fresh air after recently being named the longest active player to never play in a playoff game.  Well after much searching Crawford has finally found his role and has been amazing off the bench averaging 18ppg and shooting 38.2% from behind the arc, helping to secure his team the Atlanta Hawks the #3 seed in the East.

Most Improved Player

Winner Aaron Brooks

With a team going through so much, Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman turned to guard Aaron Brooks and he definitely stepped up to the plate.  With injury to Yao Ming, and the turmoil, injury, and trade of Tracy McGrady, Brooks certainly had a lot of ground to cover.  Brooks came into this season averaging a mere 8.8 ppg and totally demolished that,  finishing up with 19.6 ppg 5.3 asts and 2.6 rebs.  Constantly improving throughout his career, he took a huge jump this season we’ll see where he is next season.

Coach of the Year

Winner Scott Brooks

Coaching the youngest team in the league Scott Brooks has one of the greatest turnarounds getting the Oklahoma City Thunder 27 more wins than last season.  If that’s not enough, not only did they win 50 games they also made the playoffs  measuring up with the tough teams in the Western Conference.  The Thunder’s playoff run is the first to come to the franchise since they moved from Seattle.  Brooks decisive thinking including moving Kevin Durant from shooting guard to small forward, and his consistency, humility, and control over his players has garnered him with the title of Coach of the Year.

2010 Trade Deadline COMPLETE!!!

T-Mac to Knicks in Knicks/Kings/Rockets Deal

Knicks Get: Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez

Kings Get: Carl Landry,Joey Dorsey, Larry Hughes

Rockets Get: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstong, Jordan Hill, Jarred Jeffries, the right to swap first-round picks with New York in 2011, and New York’s 2012 first-round pick

One way or another this deal works out for each team.  The KNICKS end up $30million below the salary cap and have the chance to acquire 2 major superstars next season (Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson).  They were able to finally relieve themselves of Jarred Jeffries $8million contract.  Plus there’s still hope T-Mac can remain healthy and showcase his once GREAT passing and shooting ability.  McGrady has a lot to prove and given good health and playing time I know he will give it his all.  If he happens to fall short Knicks can release him after this season, or he can remain if he takes a pay cut from his $23million salary.  The KINGS seem to be dealt a huge blow by releasing Kevin Martin.  They however plan on building a team around rookie guard Tyreke Evans.  Evans a breakout superstar has a similar game to Martin and many felt they couldn’t play together.  The Kings however acquire Carl Landry who has great scoring ability.   The ROCKETS however seem to get the best end of the deal.  It’s no secret that they’ve been dying to get rid of Tracy McGrady for some time now, due to his injuries and turmoil with the team.  Not only is that task done, they also acquire super guard Kevin Martin, and key draft picks.

Cavs Acquire Antawn Jamison In Cavs/Wizards/Clippers Deal

Cavs Get: Antawn Jamison, Sebastian Telfair

Wizards Get: Zydrunas Illguaskas, Al Thornton, rights to Emir Preldzic,
2010 first-round draft pick from Cavs

Clippers Get: Drew Gooden

Clearly a big acquisition for the CAVS, who are in quest of a playoff championship.  Jamison is averaging 20.5pts this season and will be a great addition to the Cavs who were in need of another scorer to assist Lebron James.  With this deal the Cavs were also able to retain J.J Hickson, who has been helpfully in the past few wins for them.  The WIZARDS have been continuing to start anew in the rebuilding of their team, and well… releasing everybody.  It’s assumed that they will eventually buyout big Z, who may return to the Cavs.  The CLIPPERS acquire Drew Gooden who was just traded to the Wizards a couple days ago.  With Gooden they get a good defensive big man.

Celtics Get Robinson in Exchange for House in Knicks Deal

Celtics Get: Nate Robinson, Marcus Landry

Knicks Get: Eddie House, J.R Giddens, & Bill Walker

Big blow to the KNICKS with the loss of a fan favorite and 3 time Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson.  Robinson averaged just about 13.2ppg in the 30 games he was ALLOWED to play in.  We all know about the turmoil between he and coach Mike D’Antoni after 14 DNP’s Robinson was finally allowed back in the game where he scored an explosive 40pt comeback.  Still tensions weren’t relieved and now we must say good bye to Nate.  With the loss of Nate we acquire veteran Eddie House from the CELTICS.  House averages 7.2ppg in 50games this season.  House’s perimeter shooting isn’t what it once was, but he still has the ability to come off the bench and get some points in.  He’s also excited about reuniting with coach D’Antoni.  Gidden’s and Walker are bench players who were seldom used and seem to just have been thrown into the deal.

Bucks Acquire Salmons in Bulls/Bucks Deal

Bucks Get: John Salmons, Bulls’ 2011 & 2012 second round picks and option to switch 2010 first round picks (provided Chicago is between No. 11 & No. 30)

Bulls Get: Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander

Each team comes away with something.  The BULLS like the Knicks have cleared up much-needed cap space.  They were able to drop Salmons contract and acquire Warrick and Alexander who each have expiring contracts.  The Bulls have 6 players under contract and have a chance to get a prime free agent such as Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer.  With players like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah it should be easy to lure someone in.  The BUCKS get a great shooter in Salmons WHEN  he’s on.  The Bucks also have a chance to land a spot in the playoffs; they’re currently 2 games out of the eighth seed.

Bobcats Get Tyrus Thomas in Bulls/Bobcats Deal

Bobcats Get: Tyrus Thomas

Bulls Get: Ronald “Flip” Murray, Acie Law, and a future 1st round pick from Charlotte

After some friction between Tyrus Thomas and the BULLS he has been traded.  The Bulls gain an important 1st round pick from the Bobcats as well as 2 more expiring contracts with Murray and Law.  As stated before the Bulls are trying to clear up as much cap space for upcoming free agents.  The BOBCATS acquire athleticism and great shot blocking ability in Thomas although he is at times inconsistent.  Thomas will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Cardinal For Milicic in Timberwolves/Knicks Deal

Timberwolves Get: Darko Milicic, cash

Knicks Get: Brian Cardinal

The two players are rarely used and it’s unlikely that either will see an increase in playing time.  The TIMBERWOLVES used the deal to get cash back from the New York Knicks.  The KNICKS released Milicic to free up additional cap space and are expected to waive Cardinal to make room for the newly acquired players from the Celtics. 

 Blazers Acquire Camby in Trail Blazers/Clippers Deal

Trail Blazers Get: Marcus Camby

Clippers Get: Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake, cash

The injury plagued and seemingly cursed BLAZERS get some frontcourt help from the acquisition of Marcus Camby.  Camby who was unhappy with his role in LA, can help the  Blazers in their playoff quests with his defensive and rebounding ability.  The CLIPPERS get a solid backup for Baron Davis in Blake and help at small forward with Outlaw.

Sixers Send Ivey to Bucks

Sixers Get: Jodie Meeks, Francisco Elson

Bucks Get: Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec, and a second-round pick in the 2010 draft

This deal would return Ivey back to the BUCKS where he spent his 07′-08′ season.  Neither the SIXERS nor the Bucks would gain much from the deal since all the players get very little playing time and average few points.

Jazz Send Brewer To The Grizzlies

Grizzlies Get:  Ronnie Brewer

Jazz Get:  A protected 2011 first-round pick

The Deal gives the GRIZZLIES an athletic swingman.  The JAZZ not only get an important first round pick in an extensive rookie class, but they also get to save money.  Brewer is making $2.7 million this season and will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.  The trade doesn’t put the Jazz under the luxury tax  penalty but it does put them on the road to it.

Shake Ups In the All Star Roster Kobe, Iverson OUT

Injuries has caused quite a stir up in the 2010 All Star roster. Due to knee injury Chris Paul(NO) will be replaced by Chauncey Billups(Den), and Brandon Roy(Por) who’s out with a hamstring injury will be replaced by Chris Kaman(LAC).  Bigger news tho is the loss of Allen Iverson(Phi) and Kobe Bryant(LAL).  Although Iverson was voted in by the fans with over a million votes, us REAL NBA fans knew he didn’t really belong.  Iverson who can’t take part due to an ill child, will be replaced by David Lee(NYK).  Kobe Bryant who suffered an ankle injury, has missed the last 3 Laker games and has officially withdrawn from the All Star game.  Bryant will be replaced by Jason Kidd(Dal).  Monta Ellis(GS) was definitely a contender to replace Bryant but suffered a knee strain.  The loss of Bryant is definitely a big blow to the game but I got my wish of seeing Chris Kaman and David Lee in, they clearly deserved it.  All injury replacements are chosen by NBA Commissioner David Stern, but the starters to replace the injured are chosen by West coach George Karl and East coach Stan Van Gundy.  Karl has decided to start Nowitzki in place of Bryant and he will be defending Lebron James, hmmm interesting, since Dirk isn’t a guard… Nowitzki will join Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Amare Stoudemire, and Carmelo Anthony in the West’s starting five.  It’s anticipated that either Rajon Rondo or Joe Johnson will replace Allen Iverson in the East starting five; which consists of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Garnett, and Dwight Howard.

All Star Reserves Announced

Sorry for the delay in the post, but Thursday the All Star Reserves were announced for the February 14th All Star Game.  As stated before the reserves are chosen by the head coaches for each conference.  Here they are:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

PG- Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics)

PG- Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)

SG- Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks)

PF- Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors)

SF- Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats)

SF- Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics)

F/C- Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks)

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

PG – Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets)

PG – Deron Williams (Utah Jazz)

SG – Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers)

PF- Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)

PF- Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)

SF- Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)

C- Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers)

Now if you compare this list with my picks it’s pretty much the same thing with the exception of Derrick Rose, Al Horford, and Pau Gasol.  Rose I have no problem with, but Horford and Gasol??? David Lee averages 19.7 PPG and 11.5 RPG compared to Horford’s 13.3 PPG and 9.6 RPG.  Obviously team records came into play which is ridiculous since All Stars are supposed to be the best in the league based on solo efforts.  The same is true for Pau Gasol, who shouldn’t have been chosen over Chris Kaman. Kaman averages 20.2 PPG and 9.1 RPG while Gasol averages 17.6 PPG and 11 RPG.  Even if we don’t look at the stats the difference shows in the guys performances, definitely the wrong choices coaches…

2010 Rookie Challenge Roster Announced

The Rookie Challenge, a game where NBA rookies play against sophomores, will take place on Feb. 12th in Dallas during All Star weekend.  Heading the Challenge is Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans. 

Joining Rose on the sophomore team is: LA Clipper’s guard Eric Gordon, Minnesota Timberwolve”s Kevin Love, New Jersey Nets’ Brook Lopez, New York Knicks’ Danilo Gallinari, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, and Marc Gasol, Miami Heats’Michael Beasley, and O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Joining Evans on the rookie team is: Sacramento Kings’ Omri Casspi, Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson, Detroit Piston’s Jonas Jerebko, Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jonny Flynn, Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden,  and DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs’.

Lebron & Wade’s Free Agency Affects Amare’s Trade Offers

After recents discussions with Amare Stoudemire’s agent being ineffective to secure a contract extension, the Phoenix Suns have  increased their efforts to trade the All Star Forward.  The trade deadline is Feb. 18th and sources reveal the Suns may take the best offer.  The Bulls, Nets, Heat, 76ers, Pistons, Warriors, Knicks, and Cavaliers are among the many teams interested in the superstar.  The Suns want young talent as well as cap space.  The fear and problem with Stoudemire is that whichever team he signs with he may not return to them the following season.  Another problem is his injuries after undergoing knee and eye surgery.  Despite that the star forward has come out blazing averaging 20.9 pts and 8.6rebs a game, increasing whatever value the surgeries might have brought down.  With all these accomplishments the free agency of Lebron James, and Dwayne Wade can still affect his acquisition should they decide to leave their teams.  There is talk however that the two could play together, which I find highly unlikely.  People have compared it to a Jordan/Pippen combo, but who is willing to be Pippen.  James and Wade are both superstars in their own right and I don’t think either would be willing to play second fiddle, plus which team has that much cap space?  But anyways if the two leave their teams Chicago, New York, and New Jersey would only see Stoudemire as an alternative.  Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson are also on the alternative lower ranking list.  I’m quite certain Stoudemire will get traded, and will get all that he’s owed, the only questionable matter is which team…