Friday, November 28, 2014
Blog Page 118

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Day 43 of the NBA lockout has come and gone.

It’s been a summer filled with the looming concern that NBA basketball may not return for the ’11-12 season, but there has been a single bright spot for Laker fans:

Metta Worldpeace.

The player formerly known as Ron Artest has single-handedly kept the off-season interesting (and kept us from a million stories like this one).

First, there was the name change to Metta Worldpeace, something we asked him about yesterday at Matt Barnes’ Athletes vs. Cancer Celebrity Golf Tournament in Palos Verdes:

“A lot of guys did it over the years – World B. Free, Brian Williams from the Chicago Bulls, Ocho Cinco, Bison Dele. So, it’s pretty cool.”

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Photo by Angela Weiss | Getty Images

A couple of weeks ago we brought you a story that Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace) was seriously thinking about competing in ABC’s hit T.V. show “Dancing with the Stars”

Reports said that Artest and “Dancing” producers have been in touch to reach a possible deal, yet nothing was official.

Artest had this to say when we asked him at Matt Barnes 3rd annual Athletes vs. Cancer event at Trump National.

“Nah I’m not doing that. People want me to, but I’m not. I like that show though!”

While some may be relieved, others are sure to be disappointed. One thing is for sure: An appearance would have been instant entertainment!

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You hear them every week on the #1 Lakers Podcast: Voice of the Nation.

This week, David Brickley, Jason Riley, and Kevin Figgers talk about the top Laker topics of the week in a little bit of a different way.

Check out the first edition of VOTN: Fastbreak. The guys discuss and debate the top Laker topics of the week, all in ten minutes or less.

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David Livingston | Getty Images

Lakers Forward Matt Barnes will be hosting the Athletes vs. Cancer 3rd Annual Golf Classic this Friday, Aug. 12th at the Trump National Golf Course on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Spectator tickets are available for purchase, and proceeds go to help a great cause!

Barnes started Athletes vs. Cancer in memory of his mother, Ann Barnes, who passed away 26 days after being diagnosed with several types of cancer. Ann’s passing was abrupt and devastating to her friends and family. In 2008, Matt launched AVC to the world to get athletes more involved in joining together to educate, bring awareness and motivate people to get regular cancer screenings.

Our own David Brickley, Jason Riley and Kam Pashai will be there covering the event, and we hope you’ll come out to see Matt, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and a whole list of athletes and celebrities for what is sure to be a great event!

For more information, please visit Athletes vs. Cancer. To purchase tickets, please click here.

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For the past 2 years the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown has been labeled as the search for the “best amateur dunkers” in the country but it always turns out to be an exhibition for the best “contest/freestyle dunkers” in the world. The contest begins each year by hosting a local dunk contest in 8 cities where NBA legends like Dominique Wilkens & special guests judge amateur dunkers. The 8 event winners and 2 winners from an online submission contest go to the semi-finals where it’s 100% up to online fans to decide which 4 will compete in the finals for $10k. The finals has taken place the last 2 years at NBA All-star weekend with LeBron James as the one of the judges.

The contest is in the middle of the Semi-finals right now and we are asking the Laker Nation to spread the word about these dunkers so they can win $10k and the title of “Best Dunker in the World”

More information can be found on the official website including L.A.’s representative, Kenny Dobbs, who took the crown at the Sprite Slamd Dunk Showdown stop in L.A. You can check out Kenny’s amazing jams in the video after the break!

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Photo Credit: TMZ

It’s been three full months – a fourth of an entire year – since the Lakers last suited up to take on the Mavs in Game 4 of Western Conference Semi’s. Now 41 days into the NBA Lockout and we’re doing write-ups on stories like this…

Kobe Bryant was spotted at the Happy Nails Salon in Newport Beach last week to get some, eh, therapy on that troublesome shooting hand.

There are three things that disturb me about this:

(1) I just sourced TMZ.
(2) I just did a write-up on Kobe getting a man-pedi.
(3) I just typed mani-pedi.

The summer months in the NBA usually produce some newsworthy stories. Last summer was historically active with the Decision (and the narcissistic events that followed), Amar’e packing his bags for New York and dozens of relevant player and coach movement.

This off-season, well… I’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce Besiktas, writing articles about World Peace going to the UK, and now, reporting on the Happy Nails Salon in Newport Beach.

I think I speak for all of us when I say: Please end this lockout and hurry back, NBA.

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UPDATE: Ron’s publicist, Courtney Barnes, would only confirm that Artest will be in the UK August 18-23 to meet with the Chelshire Jets about potentially playing with them. By all indications, nothing has been finalized by either side.

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In the midst of a tumultuous time for much of the UK, the British Basketball League can at-least rest assured that World Peace is coming.

According to sources, Metta World Peace (a.k.a. Ron Artest until August 28th) will be joining the Cheshire Jets of the BBL for the 2011/12 season, which begins on September 30th. While neither Ron, nor his agent David Bauman have officially confirmed (or denied) the rumor, Artest took to his Twitter this morning.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ronartest/status/100968445679648768″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ronartest/status/100969247265669120″]

It’s important to note that under FIBA rules, if the NBA works out the CBA and ends the lockout, World Peace would be required to return to the Lakers, where he has 3 years left on his deal, worth about $21 million.

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Photo by Jed Jacobsohn | Getty Images

With the NBA and its players spending their summer embroiled in a stagnant lockout, a few are already looking to next summer in 2012, where the United States will look to repeat their gold medal performance from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. One of these few is former Phoenix Suns owner and current head of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo, who sat down with NBA.com’s David Aldridge to talk about USA Basketball and the effects of the lockout.

While the full effects of the lockout on USA Basketball are still unknown (the NBA does much of the financial backing for Team USA), Colangelo still expects many of the players from the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2010 World Championships to vie for spots on the team:

“I would hope people would take care of their business,” he said. “I know all of the issues from both sides, the pros and cons. I have to look at it from a different perspective as chairman of USA Basketball. We’re moving ahead. We’re fielding a team. The only question is who’s going to be on it. We have to submit a roster to FIBA by next June … we’re going to have a great response to participation in 2012 from our players. We have the depth of players, looking at the Olympic roster and the World Championship roster, to field a team.”

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Derrick Caracter, meet Houston Rockets Forward Terrance Williams.

During a charity game in Louisville last weekend, Lakers backup center Derrick Caracter rotates a tad late, and ends up paying for it by way of a poster.

If Caracter is auditioning for the Lakers to retain his rights for next season – a decision worth about $788k – this is probably not the best way to go about it.

Video courtesy of Lakers Blog.

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Ron Artest fails to surprise anymore. The news wires tomorrow may report that Ron Artest is opening up a Good Times-themed amusement park tomorrow and no one would consider it out of the norm.

I say these things in part because they are true, but also to prepare you for the fact that Ron Artest is apparently a huge Celine Dion fan, so much so that he raved on his Twitter feed last night about seeing Celine in concert during a trip to Las Vegas:

(Here are the tweets in sequential order):

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Photo by David Livingston | Getty Images

Now that Ron Artest has become the enforcer of world peace and mental health advocacy, it only made sense that the Lakers a bruiser spot to fill on their roster. Andrew Bynum was the front-runner after he had a solid audition during this year’s playoffs, sending Mavericks guard J.J. Barea to the floor in a Mavericks blowout. However, after last night’s Pro-Am game in San Francisco, Laker Matt Barnes may be beginning his campaign for the honor, having punched an opposing player in the face:

Lakers forward Matt Barnes allegedly punched a player during a Pro-Am game in San Francisco, according to multiple reports and eye-witness accounts on Twitter.

ABC 7 in San Francisco reports the incident took place at Kezar Pavillion. Barnes was playing for Dream Team while the player who Beasley allegedly hit was playing for a team called East Bay.

According to the same report, Barnes was not ejected because referees did not see the punch.

Barnes doesn’t have the best track record at being a classy player, having slapped a referee in the same league one year ago, or his infamous ball fake towards Kobe Bryant’s face during Barnes’ time in Orlando.

On the bright side (if there is one in this case), Barnes has mentioned that his knee issues from last year are completely resolved, and his play in the Pro-Am league is a promising sign for a player who was plagued during much of the 2010-11 season with injuries.

Here is a video captured by a fan, seconds after the incident:

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Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

As we mentioned a couple days ago, Besiktas was scheduled to meet with Kobe Bryant’s agent Rob Pelinka in Los Angeles this morning. While many (including myself) dismissed this as little more than a formal gesture from the Kobe camp to the Turkish club, this on again, off again story appears to be on again.

According to reports, Besiktas finally made an official offer to Bryant this morning, who was not at the meeting. Talks were reported as positive, and Kobe will be attending a follow up meeting this afternoon.

It seems more likely that Kobe would lean towards playing in China, a Country that has embraced and adored him as their own, and could potentially pay him up to $2 million per month. However, if Bryant had no interest in playing for Besiktas, it’s highly unlikely there would be a second meeting taking place this afternoon.

We’ll update this story as new information is available.

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Laker fans may start loving USA Light just as much as they do Kobe Bryant, as they have once again hooked up the Laker Nation community.

USA Light held yet ANOTHER contest in which you had an opportunity to win a $100.00 Visa Gift Card.

One lucky winner was chosen!

Congratulations to Amy Moreno, who simply followed USA Light on Facebook and Twitter and now has 100 bucks cash!

Thank you so much USAlight.com!!!!!!! I am still in shock! At first i thought to myself, ‘Wait a minute am i dreaming?’. The minute I read the email for the second time, I realized this is real. I grabbed my daughter and started jumping and yelling with her. The first thing I am going to do with the money is buy my daughter a pair of Kobe shoes! She is a huge fan of her “koobie” like my father and brothers. Thanks to USA Light she can finally have her first pair of Kobe’s. Thank you for supporting the great LakerNation.com! – Amy Moreno

Hate to break it to all of you that did not enter but, YEAH it’s that easy!

Make any purchase from USALight.com and receive 10% off by using the code LAKERS at checkout!

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The guys are back tonight, LIVE from their Fox Sports Radio studio, for another weekly edition of Voice of the Nation.

Tonight, Brickley, Figgers and Riley take a look at the latest from the NBA lockout, Kobe coming to LeBron’s defense and what exactly he meant when he said that Mike Brown buttons things out.

Rundown

  • Kobe Bryant FINALLY speaks on Mike Brown…sort of.
  • Will Kobe play overseas in Turkey or China?
  • Kobe’s knee is “the best its been in a while”
  • Former Laker arrested for swallowing marijuana?
  • Ronnie Lester has more comments about the Laker organization.
  • Ron Artest on “Dancing with the Stars?”
  • Former NBA All Star Steve Francis has choice words for one of his former clients
  • Best and Worst
  • 3 for 3

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #149

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With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.