Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

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


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.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell
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After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.

LeBron James: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.

“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”

LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.

But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.

The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.

It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.