DALLAS - The Kings blog took a hit today, so long as the buyout of Tyronn Lue goes through as expected.
You see in the two weeks since Lue joined the team, I can't count how many media/coaching types have told me how good of a guy Lue is, how funny he is, how great of a quote he is. Surely, he would've filled up this space with some enjoyable content. Feel like I never knew ya, Tyronn, but we're going to keep looking for entertainment in other places nonetheless. From the web this week, in reverse order chronologically...
Three hours until tipoff between the Kings and Mavericks. And if Dallas' 24-3 home record wasn't intimidating enough, how about the fact that they just lost to their cross-state rivals (Spurs, not Rockets) and had a bit of controversy in the process. You think they won't be motivated to get back on track? Cue doomsday music...
MARTIN DEBATE ENSUES
By the time my piece on Kevin Martin came out today, I was the tempered one in the bunch when it came to discussing the shooting guard's struggles.
* Mike Moreau of Hoopsworld penned a scathing article on how Kings coach Reggie Theus is using Martin. In in the interest of full disclosure (which you can find at the bottom of the story), Moreau has worked with Martin at the Pro Training Center in Bradenton Fla. and is associates with Kevin's personal coach, David Thorpe.
FREE AGENT BREAKDOWN
With the Feb. 21 trade deadline behind us, look ahead to this summer's free agent market.
This breakdown from ESPN's Chad Ford (ESPN Insider only for access) is only slightly more comprehensive than the one Ron Artest dictated from memory on Sunday at Orlando. Asked about possibly becoming a free agent, Artest rattled off the names of the league's biggest names who could be looking for big paydays with the sort of ease that made it obvious this had been heavy on the mind of both him and his agent, Mark Stevens.
Their latest stance, of course, is that Artest is "not likely" to opt out. And after peeking at the guys who will also be fighting for the minimal dollars out there, it's probably the wise move.
For those who don't have Insider, here's a list of some of the names.
Early Termination Option candidates (have the right to terminate their contract after this season): Elton Brand, Gilbert Arenas, Shawn Marion, Baron Davis, Jermain O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Corey Maggette, Artest.
Restricted free agents: Emeka Okafor, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, Jose Calderon, Luol Deng, Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis, Josh Childress, Ben Gordon, Nenad Krstic.
Unrestricted free agents (a much less-impressive list that I shortened): Antawn Jamison, Kurt Thomas, Mickael Pietrus.
OF MAYORS AND DANCERS...
Proving that context truly is everything, a mayor in Arlington, Ore. was recalled because of a "racy" photo of herself. Meanwhile, the Kings dancers who are paid to look sexy and whose own controversial photos were far racier than those of this public servant will go on without much, if any, reprimand. I'm not weighing in on either matter here, just found it interesting.
NBA'S BEST FROM WEDNESDAY
Because it has one Kings clip (sort of) and because Linas Kleiza makes it in here, too, check out the best from the league from Wednesday's games. Before you do, though, it should be noted that Denver is 1-3 since not trading for Ron Artest. Kleiza, the third-year small forward who the Nuggets didn't want to give up in the deal, has scored a combined 23 points in three games since the deadline on 10 for 26 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. He missed one game with an ankle injury.
- Sam Amick