So many things to look forward to on All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles Feb. 17-20.
What team will Carmelo Anthony be playing for? Will Kobe be the guy who goes all out to win MVP in front of the home fans? How long will the lines be at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles? Which will be the cooler ceremony: unveiling Jerry West’s statue out in front of Staples Center or Kobe Bryant getting his hands in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood?
And now — how cool will Ron Artest’s new mix tape be?
He’s dropping it All Star weekend, as Mark “King of Hip Hop” Medina reports at the Los Angeles Times.
“There’s going to be a bunch of celebrities on it,” Artest said. “I can’t say the names yet, but there’s going to be a bunch of people on there that you wouldn’t believe that would rap or sing. A lot of athletes, a lot of rappers and a couple comedians.”
Safe bets include Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and maybe even Shannon Brown’s wife Monica. As for players… sorry, no rap stylings of Pau Gasol.
“He’s definitely not on it,” Artest said of Gasol.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.