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Winderman: NBA has its own one-and-done players

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So just over a year after arriving, Ron Artest apparently is having issues with the Lakers. Does this surprise anybody?

Or could it be that Artest becomes just the latest one-and-done example in this league, a player who is everything as advertised upon arrival in terms of basketball skills and then becomes everything as advertised after a welcome is worn out?

No, no one is saying Artest should or will be gone, but his situation is not unlike several others in the league, past and present, where the going gets to be not so good after a one-season honeymoon period.

A look at a few potential current one-and-done types with their current teams, for a variety of reasons:

Shaquille O’Neal: The first year always is the honeymoon, then came the ugly ending in Miami and Phoenix. And after one season in Cleveland, enough was deemed to be enough. Yes, Shaq has been wonderful this season in Boston. And he’ll probably be a hit next season in Atlanta, as well.

Stephen Jackson: Before he was booted, there were rumblings that coach Larry Brown wanted Captain Jack gone. Just as with his arrival with Golden State, Jackson was exactly what Charlotte needed last season upon his arrival. Now? Apparently not so much. With the Mavericks’ loss of Caron Butler, Dallas could be the next stop.

Samuel Dalembert: This primarily was a rental, anyway, but based on festering differences between the Kings and the shot-blocking center, an offseason free-agent departure appears to be inevitable, if he even makes it to one season and done.

Tracy McGrady: Last season, the comeback began in New York. Now there are signs of life in Detroit. But with the Pistons not going anywhere, might T-Mac prefer the big stage one more time, somewhere with a more legitimate shot at the playoffs? New York last season. Detroit this season. Where next?

Eddie House: Last season was split between the Celtics and Knicks, for a player who has been on the move plenty of late. Now there is nothing but bench time in Miami. So far he has been a willing spectator. But as the career clock winds down, might there be one more reach for one more relocation?

Andres Nocioni: This never was the best fit with a young, rebuilding roster in Philadelphia. Surely a contender could put the scrapper who arrived from Sacramento in the offseason to greater use. He probably doesn’t even have his bags unpacked from Chicago yet.

Tony Allen: Does a young roster need this type of headache? Yes, O.J. Mayo might be gone before Allen, but Tony could wind up as this season’s Javaris Crittenton, ancillary damage, if you will, shortly after his arrival.

Luke Ridnour: The assumption is that Jonny Flynn will be moved to make way for the arrival of Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves, however, might find greater interest in a player who certainly seems like he hasn’t been able to stay in one place very long recently.

Brendan Haywood: He arrived last season amid fanfare. Then Tyson Chandler arrived to his full potential this season. Now making it through a calendar year in Dallas is not a certainty.

Chris Duhon: Because eventually each suitor recognizes he, uh, is Chris Duhon.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Former NBA player Von Wafer takes to Twitter to beg for one more NBA chance

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 7
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Von Wafer was the quintessential gunner without a conscious during his six NBA seasons. He never saw a shot he didn’t like.His propensity to shoot rather than make the right basketball play is why he bounced around the league for six seasons. Well, that and his locker room fights and throwing of chairs and the like.

Wafer looks back on that and winces.

And he went to Twitter to beg for another chance, despite not having been in the league since 2012. The message came after a tweet showing part of his last workout.

Wafer is now 31 and last set foot on an NBA court in 2012, having played in China, Russia, Puerto Rico, and the D-League since them. We’ll politely call his comeback attempt a longshot.

But a guy who can shoot the rock asking for one more chance? We know there will be worse and stranger camp invites.

(Hat tip Ball Don’t Lie).

 

Report: If Durant/Curry relationship goes south, teams will try to poach Stephen Curry. Well, duh.

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 07: Kevin Durant speaks to the media during the press conference where he was introduced as a member of the Golden State Warriors after they signed him as a free agent on July 7, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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There are a handful of true game-changing players in the NBA. Not max players, there are a chunk of those, we’re talking “you can build a contender around him” guys. Kevin Durant is one, and he is headed to Golden State.

Stephen Curry is another. And he is a free agent next summer. So many teams — including one contender — are ready if the Durant/Curry relationship goes south, reports Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report.

B/R EXCLUSIVE: A contender is planning to poach Steph Curry from Dubs if chemistry with Durant turns 'poisonous'

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Well, duh.

Again, there are not many Curry level players; teams should have a “what if” plan. Including contenders.

That is very different than saying Curry is going to leave the Warriors — nobody around the league sees that as likely. Nobody expects a “poisonous” Durant/Curry relationship. Everyone expects Curry to re-sign for the max with the Warriors. The man just recruited Durant, now he’s going to bolt?

But like a Boy Scout, a team is always prepared. So they should have that plan, just don’t count on it for a primary option.

Kings GM Vlade Divac on Rudy Gay’s communication complaints: ‘He has my number’

Vlade Divac
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Rudy Gay complained about how the Kings are handling the trade rumors swirling around him.

Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac, via James Ham of CSN California:

“He has my number,” Divac told CSN California. “If I do something, I will call him. Obviously, if I didn’t call him, we didn’t do anything.”

“Look, I was a player, 16-17 years in the league, nobody called me everyday and tell me what management is doing,” Divac said. “Management was doing their job. If something big happened, they called and told me. Obviously, nothing big happened (so) I’m not going to call anybody.”

I suppose Divac can take that tack. He’s obviously not obligated to provide Gay regular updates.

But the Kings already have a reputation for putting their players in bleak positions. This doesn’t help.

Even if Divac feels calling Gay is going out of his way, so what? The alternative — Gay either coming to training camp unhappy or spreading word of Sacramento’s mistreatment of players to his new teammates after a trade — is far worse.

It’s not enough for Divac to just wait for Gay to call him — especially because Divac might not be as reliable with the phone as he thinks.

Union to fund health insurance for retired NBA players

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 23:  Professional basketball player Chris Paul commentates during the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational Charity Bowling Tournament presented by GoBowling.com at Lucky Strike Lanes at L.A. Live on February 23, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Professional Bowlers Association)
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The National Basketball Players Association has talked for more than a year about covering medical expenses for retired players.

Today, the union announced a formal plan.

NBPA release:

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that its player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service in the league. This program is the first of its kind among North American professional sports. It also exemplifies the NBPA’s focus on the health and welfare of its current, retired and future members.

“The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we’re only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us,” said Chris Paul, NBPA President and nine-time All-Star. “It’s important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I’m proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.”

The unanimous vote – which took place during the NBPA Summer Meeting in New York on June 26 – established a multi-faceted health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare, the country’s leading health benefits provider. The current proposal includes:

  • Retired players with between three and six years of NBA service time but who are not yet eligible for Medicare would be offered a plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage with modest out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays;

  • Those with between seven and nine years of service would be offered the same coverage with even lower out-of-pocket costs;

  • Retired players with at least 10 years of service would be offered the same coverage as the seven-to-nine year players, and would include coverage for their entire family;

  • Retired players with three-nine years of service who are eligible for Medicare would be offered a $0 deductible and $0 co-pay plan along with a low-cost prescription drug plan; those with 10+ years of service to receive this coverage for themselves and their spouse.

  • The open enrollment period for retired players would begin this fall, with coverage beginning on January 1, 2017.

This is a good thing.

It also could become a bargaining point in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. Should current players face the entire burden of insuring retired players, or should owners split the cost? (The fact that the question is even being posed paints players in a positive light.)

But back to the bigger point: This is a good thing. It’ll help retired players who need it, retired players who helped position the current generation to afford this. Kudos to the union for stepping up.