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
The NBA lockout hasn’t lasted nearly as long as the NFL lockout and already players are running for the hills or should I say overseas. Deron Williams has signed a $5 million deal with Besiktas. Williams will be playing in Turkey next season should the lockout continue. He will be joining Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia who also has an agreement with the team. There’s also Suns center Marcin Gortat who signed with Spartak Saint Petersburg in Russia. Williams isn’t the only internationally known player who has shown interest in playing overseas; Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Ron Artest and even Kobe Bryant have rumors of shopping around to overseas teams.
Williams is a big market name and was able to secure himself an opt-out clause should the NBA season resume. Other less known players such as the Raptors Sonny Weems and the Sixers Darius Songalia weren’t so lucky. Basically the NBA players are somewhat playing a game of russian roulette. Players who go overseas risk getting an injury that can diminish value as a player, or even worse a career ending injury (albeit rare). Insurance is available but is not so easily attainable and may cost a significant amount of money. No one knows when the lockout will be over, there’s a possibility the entire 2011-12 season will be lost. NBA players have a choice, either go and sign overseas contracts or wait it out. The problem with waiting it out is that there’s a certain amount of spots available for americans in overseas basketball. With big name players thrown into the mix the amount of money available will decrease as well.
A group of people that’s being overlooked are former NCAA basketball players and other street ballers who may have had the chance to play overseas but now those spots are being taken by NBA players. For those guys who couldn’t make it into the NBA, overseas basketball is their second chance to develop their skills, and get seen all while earning a living. As stated in my previous post about the layoffs, the NBA lockout is hurting a tremendous amount of people and something has to be done asap.
Posted in NBA
Tagged Bestikas, contracts, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, NBA lockout, NCAA, overseas, Ron Artest, Russia, Steve Nash, Turkey
Magic Hands Lakers 3rd Straight Loss:
In a Finals 09′ rematch, the Lakers and Magic went at it again this time with a different outcome. The Magic led most of the game, but just like Game 4 and 5 of the Finals, the Lakers came back in the 4th cutting the lead and making it quite an interesting game. It wasn’t enough however as the Magic won 96-94 giving the Lakers their 3rd straight loss on the road. The 1st and 2nd loss was handed to them by the Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats. Kobe Bryant initially wasn’t playing like himself after returning from his injury. He got back into the swing of things however including hitting a clutch jumper in the Heat game sending them into overtime. Last night he clocked in with 34pts 7rebs 7ast and 3steals. In a physical game with fouls and techs being thrown around the controversy however was focused on Ron Artest. It appears Artest was channeling his inner Dennis Rodman with dyed blonde hair with letters in three different languages in Lakers purple. Ummmm interesting….. Top performer for the Magic was Vince Carter with 25pts and 3rebs. Orlando currently holds the #2 spot in the East and is on a 5W streak. They’re 5 games behind Cleveland, I wonder if they’ll pull another playoff upset….
Injury to Lebron:
Lebron James rolled his ankle on Friday in a game against the Detroit Pistons. The Cavs went on to win that game 99-92. On Saturday everyone was stunned to see James sitting on the sideline with a DNP. Mike Brown insisted he was giving James rest and that it had nothing to do with his ankle, and James could play if they needed him too. That however proved untrue as the Bobcats handed the Cavs a 92-85 loss. The 30pts 11rebs 2ast 5steals and 1 block from Antawn Jamison was to no avail to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They needed their superstar player, who is currently #1 in the league in scoring with 30ppg. Tonight the Cavs play the Spurs, and Cavs coach Mike Brown says it will be a game-time decision on whether or not he will play James. Lebron didn’t participate in this mornings shootaround and it seems as though Brown will be resting him again tonight.
Spurs Lose Tony Parker For 6 Weeks:
On Saturday night in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Spurs superstar Tony Parker injured his hand in attempt to regain possession of the ball. According to Dr. David Green Parker has undisplaced, stable fracture of his right fourth metacarpal in his right hand. The injury will cause him to be out for a total of 6 weeks. The Spurs are currently on a 4W streak and hold the 7th seed in the West, but this is a big blow to them. Parker is averaging 16.5ppg, and 5.7apg. Parker is a vital assest to the Spurs team especially in their playoff quest. We’ll see how they do without him, hopefully he gets to heal his leg in the process, and we see the bright star that is Manu Ginobli shine once again.
Posted in NBA
Tagged Antawn Jamison, Charlotte Bobcats, Dennis Rodman, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Mike Brown, Orlando Magic, Ron Artest, San Antonio Spurs, The Rundown, Tony Parker, Vince Carter