Thursday, 9 September 2010


Russel Westbrook of the U.S. closes in to dunk the ball against Angola during their FIBA Basketball World Championship game in Istanbul September 6, 2010.      REUTERS/Mark Blinch (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Over the decades the USA and Russia have been connected by history, both in competeting in space travel and competing in basketball games. Both things although very different have been steeped in controversy and talked about for generations. Well one of these things came to a head on Thursday with the ultimate competition. No the U.S. and Russia didn't race each other to Mars, instead they were involved in a major Basketball game in the FIBA World Championships. The matchup was made that more interesting as it was the anniversary of the controversial 1972 Olympic Final game where the Soviet Union beat the USA. In the historic '72 game with 3 seconds left the USA stopped the Soviets twice but the Union was given a third chance and scored and won Gold. This referee decision was so offensive to the Americans that they refused to accept their silver medals. Well today Billups, Durant and co ensured revenge was a dish best served to the taste of an 89-79 win. The U.S. now advance to the semis while Russia will play in the consolation bracket, hoping for fifth place. Now if we could just sort out this moon landing debate.

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 19:  Mustafa Shakur #15 of the Arizona Wildcats tries to dribble around Shane Clark #35 of the Villanova Wildcats during the Second Round of the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 19, 2006 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In the latest free agent news, the New Orleans Hornets have acquired point guard Mustafa Shakur. The 6, 4 Shakur impressed with his NBA Development League play last season and will be a welcome addition to a team that thrives on it's quick transition game spurred by speedy guards. New Orleans still remain a 'different' Western Conference team and this can be to their advantage. Shakur who for the Tulsa 66ers last season averaged 19.2 points, 6.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 37.8 minutes of play is the perfect addition. He is also battled tested going through all stages of experiences and highs and lows. He was undrafted out of Arizona has been on many NBA teams over the years but struggled to keep a spot. He is alo experienced in playing in Europe. Shakur over the years has proved he's loyal to the game and now it's time this NBDL star has that loyalty repaid.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: NBA player Ron Artest arrives at the premiere of Summit Entertainment's 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

In the latest Ron Artest genorosity news the vibrant character has yet again done something unbelievable. Nope he's not appearing on another talk show in his draws instead he's drawing on some real genorosity and donating something incredible to charity. The Laker (who is one of few LA champions to not be part of the Laker repeat) is auctioning off his one Championship ring. Again with his nod and gratitude to the treatment of mental health he will give the proceeds of his auction to the school costs that are involved in the teaching aspiring psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. This may be Ron's way of saying that he couldn't of won (and that goes for the Lakers too, see Game 7) without the help of therapy. Or it just may be his way of saying 'thank you'. Either way the wonderful gesture is as big as it appears his gratitude for his help is. Again this week we say, GOOD ON YOU RON!

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