Story # 5: Deron Williams signs with Besiktas, opens floodgates
On its own merit, the news of Deron Williams signing a contract to play overseas with the Turkish team Besiktas is not a major development. However, this move by a star player was the first step in what could be a mass exodus of NBA talent willing to play professional basketball elsewhere as the lockout persists. Many of the NBA’s elite players, including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Dwayne Wade have all indicated they would be willing to do so. With the two sides far apart with respect to a new CBA, it looks like the reality of seeing superstars playing for teams NBA fans have never even heard of is not far off.
Story # 4: Kevin Durant scores 66 at Rucker Park, Kobe hits a game winner in L.A.
The most legendary basketball venue in the United States that an NBA team does not call home is Rucker Park in Harlem. Many of the game’s legends to include Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant have experienced a rite of passage by showcasing their talents at the famous proving ground. In today’s NBA, it is becoming rarer to see NBA-ers mix it up with street-ballers, but all bets are off given the gravity and lack of progress in the current lockout situation. Enter Kevin Durant, who on Monday, August 1, 2011 , showcased his incredible talent by scoring 66 points in the Entertainers Basketball Classic at Rucker. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant dropped 45 points, including the game winner, in the infamous Drew League in Los Angeles on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. When league superstars make headlines for playing outside of NBA arenas, fans can rest assured that we are all in for one lengthy work stoppage.
Story # 3: LeBron gets owned in China
LeBron James is an easy target, and I’ve written as much in the past. Starting with “The Decision”, he has set himself up for failure repeatedly. The self-glossed “King” has yet to win an NBA title, despite clearly jumping on a bandwagon he and his teammates thought were bound for title-town. As large as the production in Miami was, courtesy of a fog machine and lights that would make Cirque Du Soleil jealous, so was the epic failure of losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the finals. Fast forward to a video that surfaced on Monday, August 15, 2011, which happened to show the crowned one getting his pocket picked and subsequently dunked on (yes, that does constitute being dunked on) by a kid at a Taiwanese all-star game endorsed by Nike. In this era of camera phones, 24-hour news, and social media, James had to know the world would be watching. If anyone needed proof that LeBron lacks the killer instinct seen among the game’s all-time greats, this question must be asked: Would (insert name of legend here) allow himself to get embarrassed on the court in front of the entire world? Of course not.
Story # 2. Nate Robinson gets real, talks NFL
What Nate Robinson lacks in stature, he makes up for in charisma. The seven-year NBA veteran from the University of Washington has his own reality show that will showcase aspects of his life away from the NBA. Obviously, he will have plenty of time to devote to what would normally be considered a distraction as the lockout drags on. Fans should relish the opportunity to take a glimpse into the life of one of the most interesting journeymen in the league. Via Twitter, Robinson even had an exchange with Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who invited him to practice and workout with the team. Though he did not show up, it is worth noting that the Seattle native was a standout defensive back for the University of Washington in addition to starring on the basketball court who was even recruited by Carroll in an attempt to woo him to USC. Stay tuned.
Story #1: Delonte West allegedly applies to work at Home Depot
My top story of the NBA lockout is only hearsay at this point, but I would pay good money to ensure it was true. Via an unverified Twitter account that appears to belong to Celtics guard Delonte West, it was stated, “It’s official.. Pride 2 the side.. just filled out a application at Home Depot.. Lockout ain’t a game..”. West, who has had a fair share of legal issues, also allegedly mentioned his inability to leave the country and make “overseas money” due to a court order preventing him from leaving the country. Apparently, making $10.00 an hour at Home Depot is better than nothing (I wonder if Latrell Sprewell could have fed his kids at that rate?). West is hands-down the most entertaining NBA player off the court. A simple web search using his name will yield proof of this to include a drive-thru song about chicken and hot sauce and the best correspondent’s segment ever aired on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning.
Maybe we should all hope the lockout will never end. Who knows what’s next?
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and has been a follower of NBA basketball for over 20 years.
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More from Michael C. Jones:
We Want Titles, Not Tacos
LeBron’s Poor Playoff Performances Demonstrate Underlying Issues
Deron Williams, Besiktas Agree to Deal: NBA All-Star Plans to Play in Turkey
Kevin Durant Scores 66 at Rucker Park