Dwyane Wade Sells Jerseys, Phil Jackson Loves Ron Artest (But Jermaine O’Neal Doesn’t), and more…
What’s good, basketball fans?
Since we’re no closer to finding out which city will be the next to witness The Artest Show, let’s take a look at the news rather than run through the ever-increasing list of teams alleged to be making a play at Ron-Ron.
Dwyane Wade Moves Apparel
According to today’s press release from the NBA, the most popular jersey this season is that of Miami’s point guard/shooting guard/fashion model/superhero Dwyane Wade. If the news is any sort of surprise to you, then I’d question whether you’ve ever seen Dwyane play. Rarely does a Heat game go by that he doesn’t make the nightly highlight reels with one of the ridiculous moves that have come to be part of his repertoire. Whether slicing between a pair of defenders on a high screen, throwing down an improbable jam or sending opponents to the emergency room with a bone-breaking cross, he never fails to find a way to make me spill whatever I’m holding or curse loud enough that my neighbours take to beating on the wall with a broom.
What’s more, his humility and manner with the fans make him an easy man to market. I’ve only come face-to-face with Dwyane once, and even in the ten or so seconds we interacted, he managed to impress me. Running late and with only a few minutes to change into uniform and warm up before the tip, he took the time to stand for a photo for me and, when it was done, gave me a pound before hurrying to the trainer’s room to prepare. It may sound like nothing, but consider that he had likely done the same for thousands of media members and fans before me, and it’s not hard to see why so many are diehard D-Wade disciples.
For those of you who are interested, here’s the official list of the twenty-five best-selling player jerseys, followed by the top ten teams.
1. Dwyane Wade 2. Allen Iverson 3. LeBron James 4. Stephon Marbury 5. Kobe Bryant 6. Shaquille O’Neal 7. Tracy McGrady 8. Carmelo Anthony 9. Tim Duncan 10. Vince Carter 11. Ben Wallace 12. Steve Nash 13. Jermaine O’Neal 14. Paul Pierce 15. Dirk Nowitzki 16. Amare Stoudemire 17. Manu Ginobili 18. Kevin Garnett 19. Ray Allen 20. Jason Kidd 21. Steve Francis 22. Ron Artest 23. Kirk Hinrich 24. Ben Gordon 25. Yao Ming
1. Miami Heat 2. New York Knicks 3. Los Angeles Lakers 4. Philadelphia 76ers 5. Boston Celtics 6. San Antonio Spurs 7. Detroit Pistons 8. Chicago Bulls 9. Cleveland Cavaliers 10. New Jersey Nets
Is anyone else surprised to see both Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon up there? I guess they love their replicas in Chi-Town. Either that, or illiteracy in Illinois is bad enough that kids can’t tell the difference between “Gordon” and “Jordan”. If that’s the case, I have no clue what they’re confusing “Hinrich” with, and I’m not sure I want to know.
Deron Williams and Robert Whaley Fight in Club, Lie to the 5-0
Here’s the plot synopsis for anyone who hasn’t come across this story yet: Deron Williams and Robert Whaley were involved in an altercation in a Park City, Colorado club after a fan of the Nuggets cussed them out. When questioned by the police, the two bright sparks decided that, despite being men of 6’3’’ and 6’10’’ already recognised as famous athletes, they’d try their luck and provide the officer with false names. Deron Williams gave his name as “Torrey Ellis” and Robert Whaley chose the alias “Bobby Williams”, apparently looking as far as his buddy for inspiration for the surname.
Here’s the kicker, though: the guy who started the drama in the first place is allegedly called “Affan Arslanagic”. Affan Arslanagic? Many of my friends have names that set off the spellchecker whenever I try to email them, and I myself have a foreign surname (“Ellis” is actually my mother’s name), but never in my life have I met anyone claiming to be called anything that sounds even vaguely like Affan Arslanagic.
That said, although it might sound like the fakest name of the lot, it does seem as if this character actually exists. A quick Google search for Affan Arslanagic returns a few results about a man living in Denver by that name. It may be a different dude, but I doubt it. If it is indeed the same guy, you should know that he is “a former Olympic hopeful skier”. Where that information takes us I can’t tell you, but I certainly feel as if I accomplished something today nonetheless.
Jermaine O’Neal Feels “betrayed” by Ron’s Trade Request
"We felt betrayed, a little disrespected." – Jermaine
That’s fair enough.
"Jermaine has the right to be mad at me." – Ron
Why would I not want to have a guy like that on my team?" – Rick Carlisle
That’s just naïve.
"In the off time, when we’re in the streets, when I see him and he’s with another team, we can talk."- Jermaine
Breaking News: It has just been announced that Ron’s trade request violated the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and that the league is fining him ten grand as a result. It would be funny if only it weren’t true.
Phil Jackson Loves Ron Artest
"I don’t see how you’re going to get value out of this player who in my estimation is one of the most valuable players in the league…Of course, I estimate him perhaps higher than other people. But I think he’s a terrific player. He adds a big dimension to every game he plays in." – Phil Jackson
What does this mean? In all likelihood, nothing. Don’t expect that to stop the rumours flowing about a potential trip out west for Ronny, though.
As the late B.I.G. once said, “There ain’t no more to it.” I’ll be back tomorrow with another breakdown of the day’s big basketball stories. Until then, take it easy.