Tuesday, 3 August 2010
THROUGH THE WIRE: NEWS (08/03/10)
LeBron James has taken a page out of Zydrunas Ilgauskas' newspaper buying out a full page ad in the Akron Beacon Journal to thank his hometown for it's support. Ok so King James hasn't brought out a whole paper like we predicted and he also failed to mention the city of Cleveland in his dedication. With that being said however the fans in Cleveland probably wouldn't of taken a 'thank you' ad from James as well as they took the one from his former and new teammate Ilgauskas.
LeBron took out the ad before his first public appearance in where he was born and raised since his move to South Beach this summer. James in the ad describes Akron as the "focus" of his life and talks about how, "It's where I started, and it's where I will always come back to." His heartfelt gesture to his hometown is decent but the lack of any declaration to Cleveland is bound to stir up more animosity. Sporting goods stores are now stocking T-Shirts mocking LeBron's 'Witness' slogans stating "We Are All Quitnesses." Love him or loathe him he's still one of the best players the league has and the other best player; Kobe Bryant isn't a stranger to animosity himself. Isn't it time this LeBron hate came to a rest?
The Big Cactus may be seeing green. Shaquille O'Neal is reportedly close to inking a deal with his former Lakers foes the Boston Celtics. This could make for some interesting Basketball, especially if the Lakers and the Celtics meet in the Finals again. Will the 'corvette' meet the 'brick wall' again? Or will the 'brick wall' tell the 'corvette' how it's gas tastes? One things for sure this signing would give the Celtics more diesel in their front courts depth which have a lot of question marks. One being whether another O'Neal (Jermaine) can rediscover his form and another being the health of Kendrick Perkins. Shaq is willing to accept a reserve role for the first time in his career as that's what the C's are offering. Who knows if Shaq can perform like he has been recently in limited minutes and if JO can get it going the Celtics could have a two headed O'Neal monster off the bench (Or make that 'O'Neil' for those Boston Irish).
Shaquille's former Heat teammate Jason Williams will be returning next season to another Florida club; the Orlando Magic. Williams came out of retirement last year for the Magic and has been a strong contributor ever since. He will add depth and a veteran presence re-upping with the franchise. Along with dynamo, Jameer Nelson and recent signing Chris Duhon the Magic now have one of the best Point Guard rotations in the league. While other teams are making the headlines in this dramatic free-agent period, Orlando are going about their business quietly. These other teams are attracting all the hype but expect the Magic to appear before everyones eyes this season as the contender that everyone forgot about. This team is no joke, no Mickey Mouse team. Expect more.
Phil Jackson, who will return to coach the Lakers this year is bringing his team of coaches back with him. Los Angeles will retain Jim Cleamons, Frank Hamblen (one time interim coach) and Brian Shaw who was linked with the Lakers and Cavs one-time 'open' Head Coach gigs. Although the 'Zen' says he has one season left with the Lake Show he may mentor former Laker guard Brian Shaw this season in preparation for a potential coaching replacement. LA and Phil Jackson have also added former NBA player Chuck Person to the coaching staff. Person helped out the Lakers coaching last year during their championship run and during his time as a player Chuck was a dead-eye three point shooter known as 'The Rifleman'.
He was even signed in the summer of 2000 as a free-agent by the Lakers but ended his career before the 00/01 season began. The move works out nicely for both sides, back in the summer of 2000 Phil Jackson tried to persuade Chuck to play but Person wanted to retire and pursue coaching. Jackson wished him well and now, a decade later Jax has offered Chuck a job. Person is also a big help to Ron Artest. He's been there for Ron, Ron during the ups (Artest says Person helped him become an All-Star) and the downs (Chuck's suit was beer soaked during one particular night in Auburn Hills) during Artest's time at the Indiana Pacers. Chuck Person is a former Rookie Of The Year (1986) and has career averages of 14.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He was a real, solid player and his experience (especially with three point shooting) will help new Lakers additions Matt Barnes and Steve Blake and will also help all current players too, especially guys like Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher.