Ron Artest doesn’t really like being compared to Trevor Ariza, and it turns out that Ariza feels very much the same way about being compared to Artest. In fact, Ariza engaged in a mini-debate of sorts with Daniel Artest, Ron’s brother, on Twitter, in which the two engaged in 140-character rebuttals concerning the relative merits of Artest’s game. From Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:
You can check their respective Twitter timelines (Daniel Artest’s and Ariza’s)
for the full conversation, but Ariza was annoyed in the same way as two
months ago with me at ongoing comparisons between the players. One of
the first, strong statements Ariza wrote to Daniel Artest was: “what r
u doing with ur life.”
Daniel Artest had Tweeted about Ariza: “Yea. He has the ring. But
what else besides being a role player has he done? I mean. Ron was on
All def teams, 3rd team all NBA. When he was 24(ariza age now) No
disrespect but TA hasn’t sniffed Ron career. Yes. TA did play a great
role in helpn LA win a chip but I don’t think he’ll ever be on Ron
level as far as being the man. … Let’s be honest. LA stumbled into the
playoffs. I believe that LA with TA3 wouldn’t have gotten out the first
round. KD wouldve went off.”
“Let me do me Im trying to get better Ron is a great player,” Ariza
later Tweeted to Daniel Artest. “love his game but I don’t compare what
I do to what he did at my age sorry brotha.”
…Ariza wrote later about Twitter: “Ppl are so tough on here boy ill
tell u.” But his conversation with Daniel Artest ended amicably enough,
with Artest writing to him: “I like stuff u say I just wanted to ask a
“what r u doing with ur life?” Zing!
If anyone out there was looking to argue that Twitter isn’t petty, tiffs like these put the cause back a bit. Sure, it’s just a confident athlete defending his honor against another athlete’s know-it-all brother, but why does Trevor even bother? What’s the point? It provides an interesting wrinkle for the Artest-Ariza conversation, but only because we now know just how uncomfortable the comparisons make Ariza as well.
It’s a bizarre situation in which both players feel that the other has the upper hand in terms of perceived talent and value. That makes sense, considering the basketball-viewing public so rarely builds consensus on any particular player. Ariza and Artest should find some solace in that, even as each continues to make their case as the superior player.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.