Thursday, 14 October 2010


LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 17:  The facade of the Flamingo hotel is seen at night on Las Vegas Boulevard, September 17 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

The Lakers played their cards right in Las Vegas as they won an exhibition game in UNLV's Thomas & Mack Centre. The Lake Show beat the Sacramento Kings 98-85 behind 18 points off both Pau Gasol and Ron Artest. Rising star and free-agent re-signee Shannon Brown also added 17 and showed great range between the NBA and college 3 point line markings. The Lakers took a gamble on playing the recovering Kobe Bryant but he showed a good hand in 19 minutes of play coming up with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. The Lakers may have lost big and looked as embarrassing as Chevy Chase on their European vacation but in their homecoming game in America they were as welcome as Brandon Flowers in fabulous Las Vegas. They looked comfortable in familiar surroundings, leading by 15 going into the final quarter as the red hot Lamar Odom went coast to coast and confidently drained a 3 in the waning seconds of the third. Sacramento didn't look like queens however staying in the game in the final quarter, chipping away LA's shine behind 23 points from Landry and 13 and 8 (assists) from reigning Rookie Of The Year Tyreke Evans.

Ron Artest has certainly left his mark on Nevada's Sin City more than the 18 points he dropped on Wednesday. Ron, Ron has been given the keys to Las Vegas. The Mirage Hotel recognises the reformed Artest for his charitable efforts for mental health issues. Now this one-time party hard player has all the doors to the city unlocked it would seem hard to resist temptation but Ron is a new slimmed down, work hard, sober man. Ever the character though Artest desires to make good use of his new privilege and try on some of Floyd Mayweather's jewellery and try a duet with Celine Dion. Hey if R. Kelly did it Ron sure can. How about it Celine?

Apr 18, 2010 - Orange, CA, USA - The Lakers' Ron Artest and D.J. Mbenga, with matching hairstyles, walk back to the Lakers' bench after a timeout was called during the first half at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

(Ron and D.J. may no longer cut it for the same team, but one time they shared this curious cut)

The well-travelled Los Angeles Laker free agent D.J. Mbenga didn't join Los Angeles on their European preseason tour. The 7 foot centre has now been picked up instead by the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets have added more honey to their golden frontcourt with the addition of the defensive minded, 'Baby Mutombo'. D.J. recorded 10 points and 12 rebounds for his first ever double, double against N.O. last season and now the NBA champion is in demand in Louisiana thanks to New Orleans request. Mbenga averaged 2.1 points and 1.8 rebounds last season and is a strong player who can impact even in the limited minutes he receives. The post presence will help New Orleans build towards having a strong squad for the playoffs.

Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas (9) takes the court for the first time since being suspended by the NBA for the against the Atlanta Hawks at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. in pre season game on October 12, 2010. UPI / Mark Goldman Photo via Newscom

Right now with his new beard Gilbert Arena's is starting to resemble rapper Rick Ross and it seems like the only thing that's getting shaved is his salary. Compared to most Gil may have 'All The Money In The World' but he still has the boss to answer to for all his off court and on court (prevention) antics. The Washington Post reports that Gilbert faked a soreness in his left knee to allow other players to get their shine in preseason play. Now this guard really does seem like the facilitator for John Wall's development ( The old hand however was faking this injury so Young would have the oppurtunity to get more minutes to prove himself in The Wiz's three guard rotation. Now although it seems that Arenas did the right, noble thing, the Washington Wizards still saw this as a wrong doing. Nick Young however presented a team high 24 points in Gilberts absence en route to a 107-92 win for D.C. against ATL. So what's so wrong with a good gesture now and again that results in that? Still maybe Gilbert should have gone about his withdrawl from the playing Arena differently. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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