The Michael Kidd-Gilchrist profile

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

I am back with my “Player Comparisons”. After taking a few weeks off, I thought it would be smart for me to start doing this because I know a lot of people are looking forward to the June draft. Today I am focusing on Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Take a look at his profile!

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Ron Artest’s First Game as Metta World Peace: Lakers Fans React

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L.A. Lakers fans have plenty to worry about: their franchise Kobe Bryant has ligament strains that make him questionable at best for the opening Christmas Day game versus the Chicago Bulls. And off the court he’s getting taken to the cleaners financially in his divorce. Then there’s the Clippers, who are actually becoming a rival in Tinsel Town. Actually, expectations might be higher for the Clips than LAL.

And then there’s Ron Artest who officially became Metta World Peace last night. And the results weren’t pretty. To see such a marquee, expensive player struggling like this. Well both Ron Artest and Metta World Peace were trending on Twitter last night.

Here’s some of the best and most interesting reactions from Twitter that tell the story.

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Seven Infamous Sports Meltdowns: Knight, Iverson, Mora, Artest, Brett

After witnessing the antics of Ndamukong Suh on Thanksgiving in Ford Field, it made me wonder where I would rank his nervous breakdown with other memorable sports mishaps through the years. This is certainly a list that will stir debate and naysayers, but that is the point of any sports blog. A negative reaction is much more preferable than indifference.

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Jay Cutler’s Ex Kristin Cavallari and Ron Artest doing DWTS

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ABC announced the new lineup for season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars,” and it includes U.S. Women’s soccer goaltender Hope Solo, former Indiana Pacers star, and NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers Ron Artest. One of the biggest and most surprising names is Kristin Cavallari, the former fiance of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

For lots of Cavallari bikini pictures go here

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Ron Artest Promotes New Single as Lakers Win NBA Title

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No one expected Artest to charge in the crowd during the Pacers-Pistons game and start a brawl. No one expected an NBA basketball player to drink Hennessey at halftime of games. If we have learned one thing with Ron Artest, it’s to expect the unexpected.

After the Lakers championship victory, Doris Burke interviewed Ron Artest.

When most players win a championship they like to thank their parents and sometimes even credit God.  Ron Artest certainly isn’t like most people.

By Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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Ron Artest Defends His Pro Tiger Woods Blog Posting

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By Paul M. Banks

Right now the anti-Tiger Woods bandwagon is so overcapacity, it’s busted both it’s axles. But there is at least one man out there bucking the trend, and he’s no stranger to polarization himself.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers star forward Ron Artest publicly stood up for Tiger Woods, saying he has made the same kind of mistakes as Tiger in a 500 word blog post. I talked with him about his post on Tuesday night, just before his Lakers won at Chicago 96-87.

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Artest Joining Kobe in Hollywood

Rockets Lakers Basketball

by: David Kay

When it comes down to it, the Lakers and Rockets pretty much swapped Ron Artest for Trevor Ariza straight up.  Thursday, Artest reached an agreement with the defending champs on a 3-year deal worth about $18 million.  Houston responded by stealing the Lakers’ Trevor Ariza for the mid-level exception which will net him around $33.5 million for the next five years.  So who gets the advantage?

From the Lakers’ standpoint, signing Artest brings in a veteran defensive stopper who can also provide toughness and offensive firepower.  Yes, there is the whole “Artest is crazy” argument, but for the most part; he was the ideal citizen in his one year in Houston last season.  Snagging Artest at a VERY reasonable price increases the Lake Show’s chances of once again claiming the Western Conference crown and making a run at a second straight NBA title.

He was a thorn in Kobe Bryant’s side when the two teams met in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, so it will be interesting to see how Artest and the Mamba co-exist in Hollywood.  I would assume that Artest understands that by signing with L.A., he will play second fiddle to Kobe and must become more of a role player if he wants to win a ring.  If the Lakers are able to re-sign Lamar Odom (which may be more difficult now that Artest will steal some of his minutes), they will clearly be the favorite to once again be the best of the west.

83010071NG020_LAKRS_CLIPSWhen the Rockets realized they were likely losing Artest to the Lakers, they turned their attention to Ariza.  The five-year pro found a home in L.A. and was vital to the Lakers’ success in the post-season, which ultimately led to him becoming a sought after free agent this summer.  He is a tenacious defender, runs the break well, and doesn’t try to do too much on the offensive end.

I am not sure he is a better option for the Rockets than Artest though.  With Yao Ming’s career-threatening injury and Tracy McGrady’s brittleness, Artest provided an offensive ability the Rockets needed with their two big guns un-reliable.  Signing Ariza means Houston takes a hit on the offensive end, and if T-Mac cannot stay healthy this season, the Rockets might be one of lowest scoring teams in the NBA.  Also, giving Ariza their entire mid-level exception limits what Houston can do in the remainder of free agency in terms of finding a replacement for Yao.  They may have to find a suitor via trade for T-Mac’s expiring contract as to fill a couple holes on their roster.

Advantage: Lakers (unless of course Artest goes back to his old, “run in the crowd and punch fans” ways.)

The top Free Agent Small Forwards

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By David K.
A list of the top 2009 NBA Free Agent small forwards. Here are the top 3, to read the complete list, click here. 

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbafreeagents2009sf.php

 

1. Ron Artest, Rockets (17.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 apg) Age: 29.
Houston rolled the dice in acquiring Artest last off-season and the risk definitely paid dividends. Artest was first and foremost very well-behaved, showing that he has matured since his days of rushing into the stands and fighting fans. More importantly, he played a major role in the Rockets success, filling the void left behind by the injured T-Mac, and nearly leading Houston to a second round upset against the Lakers. With T-Mac completely unreliable health-wise and in the final year of his contract, the Rockets should do what they can to bring Artest back. The only other teams with cap space that might interest Artest are Toronto and Utah (since I doubt the Pistons would ever consider signing him.)

Prediction: re-signs 4-year, $42 million with Rockets

2. Hedo Turkoglu, Magic (PO) (16.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.9 apg) Age: 30.
With his clutch play in the post-season, Turkoglu will undoubtedly opt out of his $7.3 million option for next season with hope of signing a long-term extension with the Magic. The biggest problem is Orlando has invested A LOT of money in Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard through 2013 and may not want to pony up to pay Turkoglu. However, he has been such an important piece to their puzzle that the two sides will have to settle on a reasonable raise.

Prediction: opts out, but re-signs 4-year, $41 million with Magic

3. Al Harrington, Knicks (PO) (20.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) Age: 29.
Harrington would be pretty foolish to opt out of his $10 million deal for 2009-2010. He won’t find near that amount on the open market and would be better off stomaching another year in New York and trying to cash in on a deal next off-season.

Prediction: stays with Knicks

A list of the top 2009 NBA Free Agent small forwards. Here are the top 3, to read the complete list, click here. 

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbafreeagents2009sf.php

More 2009 NBA Free Agent rankings coming soon.

NBA Western Conference Finals Preview

By: Andy Weise

This is what playoffs are all about – star power. Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard. Four of the top 10 superstars in the NBA lead their teams now. Kobe has three rings but has as many as the other three combined when Shaq isn’t on his team: zero.

In the west, it was only a matter of time before the Los Angeles Lakers finished off the Houston Rockets. Ron Artest did everything he could to keep the Rockets going after losing Yao Ming during the series but Kobe and his boys were just too tough. Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals? Wow! After thinking they would be the team to implode this year, a great trade that helped Mark Warkentien win the executive of the year award now has paid great dividends as the Nuggets have become the surprise story of the year.
In the West, Chauncey Billups has brought what Allen Iverson was supposed to: a complimentary guard to Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets are a completely different team with Billups rather than Iverson, but that’s not the only reason why the Nuggets are where they are now. Kenyon Martin and Nene have remained healthy while only playing a little more than 30 minutes a game during the regular season. Chris Andersen aka BIRDMAN has emerged as a capable defensive big for the Nuggets. The Nuggets gave up Marcus Camby in the offseason and without Andersen’s play this year, they wouldn’t have been here even if they would have gotten Billups.

How do the Nuggets matchup with the defending Western conference champs? Both teams have the dominant playmaker (Kobe/Carmelo), both teams have size on the block, both teams have really good sixth men (JR Smith & Lamar Odom). So where is the advantage? Bryant will be tough to stop whether it’s Anthony, JR Smith or Dahntay Jones guarding him. Trevor Ariza or Bryant will likely guard Anthony, which will make it a tough series for Anthony.

Billups and Anthony Carter are much better than Jordan Farmar and Derek Fisher. This is where the Nuggets have the advantage in the series and need take advantage. Fisher looked badly outplayed by Aaron Brooks in the Houston-LA series.
Andersen will have to be on his game as the energy guy off the bench too with Gasol, Bynum and Odom up front. Gasol is the most talented big man in this series, the Lakers need to take advantage of the Nuggets’ inability to cover Bryant and Gasol. If the Nuggets can slow down these two, they definitely have a shot but it’s much easier to talk about than actually do.

X Factor: Andrew Bynum. His minutes and play have been inconsistent, but all three times he played against the Nuggets this season the Lakers won.

My prediction: Lakers in seven. This series will be a good, back and forth but the Lakers are too tough upfront. It would be interesting to see the Anthony-led Nuggets get into the finals, especially if the Cavaliers also get there, but the Lakers are too tough at every position other than point guard.