Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday 07/03 (Artest) Quickie

Who said the 2009 NBA Free Agency season was going to be lame?

The Lakers snagging Ron Artest is, of course, brilliant. The first thing I thought of was the Bulls signing Dennis Rodman -- but Artest isn't nearly the nut Rodman was, and he is a vastly superior player.

Bring it on, contenders: Artest can guard LeBron, Rashard Lewis, Paul Pierce, Hedo Turkoglu, Richard Jefferson, Carmelo Anthony.

Is Ron-Ron a fit in the Triangle offense? Who cares? Will he freak out in the glare of L.A.? All the better! Artest is the best kind of acquisition: Talented AND interesting.

Jordan kept Rodman in check and the '96 Bulls were one of the best teams ever. It is not an inappropriate analogue to think the same thing about Kobe and Ron-Ron, who are friends.

Imagine that: Artest with a ring -- and the last laugh.

(As for the Lakers letting Trevor Ariza go? We may look back and realize that his youth and length were a critical X-factor for the Lakers' title run. But more likely Artest is an upgrade and Odom can play the "long" defender role that Ariza did. Still: Does Artest or Odom trigger bad inbounds passes from the Nuggets that seal conference-finals wins for the Lakers?)

It makes it all the more intriguing that Ariza might WILL end up with Houston, which seems to match his versatility with the Rockets' innovative approach to personnel. I don't think he is as good as Artest, but Ariza is at least young, with lots of room for growth. But no matter how big my man-crush on Daryl Morey, perhaps it's time to put the Rockets into my "rebuilding" NBA, rather than my "contending" NBA. (No! Never!)

(The Rockets appear to have lost out on Marcin Gortat, who looks like he is going to the Mavericks.)

Rumors: AI to the Bulls? Rubio staying in Spain for 2 years? (Or at least until the T'wolves trade him to a team he would rather play for.)

Quick MLB Hits:
*CC Sabathia: Streak-stopper, and not in a good way.
*Joey Votto is so back.
*Mark Reynolds (22nd HR) affirms my ASG selection.
*Orioles just the tonic for the Angels
*Phils swept by Braves heading into weekender with rival Mets
*Fantasy Stud: Derrick Lee (2 HR, 7 RBI)
*Did the Rangers borrow money from MLB? -- TOTALLY UNDERRATED STORY
*Can I get Aroldis Chapman off my fantasy waiver wire yet?
*Aaack! Bees!

I'm not much of a tennis fan, but I will probably tune in for a little of Andy vs. Andy.

And, yes, Manny is back. 50 games goes by so quickly, doesn't it?

-- D.S.

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