Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  July 8, 2009

2009 BET Awards - Arrivals
So many things to get to today, we go to the bullet points….

• The real numbers that should concern us about Ron Artest: 56, 70, 57, 69. Commenter Stephen pointed out that is how many games Artest has played in each of the last four seasons. Meaning in his best year he missed 12 games, and he has missed as many as 26 in that span (and the last time he played nearly a full season was his second year in the league). It seems weird to think of Artest as injury prone, but the numbers don’t lie (can you imagine the calls of “soft” if Gasol or Dirk had those stats?). As long as he is healthy come playoff time this is not the end of the world, but we should expect him to miss some games this season. We really will need Odom as well.

• Artest said all the right things at his press conference. That the conference took place on a basketball court is about all the impact that has on the court, but at least he said it. My favorite line, when asked how he is different after the Brawl: “”I don’t lay on tables no more.”

• I know the pace of the Odom signing has frustrated some Lakers fans — Hey, they got Shannon Brown done! — but I’m not one of them. I think Brian hit the nail on the head. Odom’s people have patiently waited out the market so they could get some offers on Odom and try to drive up the price (a good idea but a strategy that has not worked as well as they planned). Soon, the Lakers and Odom’s people will hammer out a fair deal, my guess is in the $7 mil range. He wants to be here, he was texting with Artest already, the Lakers should be fair, I think this gets done fairly soon.

• I love how professional the Odom negotiations have been, especially from Odom’s agents — no whining in the media about what he deserved or a perceved respect. Just working hard quietly to get the best deal they can for their client, and trying to land him in a place that makes him happy.

• Yes, Artest will be wearing #37 in honor of how long Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” sat on top of the charts. One thing we can say about next season — the Lakers are going to be more entertaining with Artest around. The ogranization is pretty button down. Kobe is pretty corporate. Artest is not.

• If you fancy yourself a baller, the Lakers are sponsoring a 3-on-3 tournament at LA Live the weekend of Aug. 14. If you want to show how you could have dunked on LeBron (and had Nike confiscate the tapes) you can register here.

• I think Sheed in Boston is a little like Shaq in Cleveland — anyone who thinks these are the guys from their prime will be sorely disapointed. That said, they still have some game and will be an upgrade over the minutes they are taking from scrubs. Basically, I think both teams got better, but enough better?

Kelly Dwyer has my click as the first hoops blogger I read every mornong,

• I just bought this (via BDL).