Since being amnestied by the Orlando Magic before the start of last season, Gilbert Arenas has been trying to make his way back into the league.
He finally caught on with the Memphis Grizzlies near the end of the season, making 17 regular season appearances and averaging only 4.2 points in 12.4 minutes a game. In the playoffs he played a total of 23 minutes, scoring a grand total of 4 points in the process.
It’s no surprise that after such a lackluster showing, Arenas still has not found an NBA team to employ him. So, he looks to be moving on to play in China. This according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
Free agent guard Gilbert Arenas is close to signing a one-year deal in China with the Guandong Southern Tigers, a source told Yahoo! Sports.
China has been a popular destination for NBA players over the years, especially for aging veterans with name recognition. Stephon Marbury has carved out a nice second stage of his career in China. Recently, Tracy McGrady retired from the NBA but noted that he’d be moving on to continue playing in Chinese Basketball Association. Arenas looks to be next.
It may be a far cry from the days where he was lighting up teams for 60 points and screaming “hibachi!” after made baskets but I refuse to treat this as a bad thing for Arenas. Playing basketball is a finite profession. You only have so many years in you before you can’t do it anymore for a living. If Arenas wants to continue to chase his dream as a professional baller, whether that’s in the states or two continents away, good for him.
Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.
There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.