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A hodgepodge of Lakers topics, including Ron Artest's defense and NBA trade rumors

September 4, 2010 |  6:45 am


To start the holiday weekend, let's go rambling around the Web.

A Bleacher Report item on top NBA defenders caught my eye because it featured this headline: Is Ron Artest the NBA's top man-to-man defender? Well, the Lakers sure hope so. The article took awhile to meander to the headline topic, first pointing out that teammate Kobe Bryant and Boston's Rajon Rondo were likely the best on-the-ball defenders among the NBA's All-Defensive team. The article had some valid points about some of the best defenders actually being guys like Magic center Dwight Howard, who help provide defense.

This headline got my attention: George Karl is ready to go. I know, he's the Denver Nuggets' coach. But let's face it, they were a prime Western Conference contender before Karl began battling neck and throat cancer and his departure sent them into a downward spiral. Just saying it's good to see the guy back on the job. And the article includes this interesting quote in regard to his team being counted out this season: "Even without Melo [Carmelo Anthony] we're a good team." Hmm, is George already plotting strategy for an Anthony-less club?

OK, I came clean that I grew up in Oregon and I am a Trail Blazers fan. You've been kind to lay off me on that subject. Here's a link to's Rudy Fernandez trade rumors. Seems the Blazers will only part with the shooting guard for a first-round draft pick. I guess since they picked up Wesley Matthews from the Jazz, they don't need any more swing players, just draft choices. And speaking of trades, here's's take on the five worst trades of all time, and the Lakers are mentioned in a couple.

And because you know I like levity, and in this case a strong case of absurdity, I'll wrap it up with a story about a man who is suing Mark Cuban, Jerry Buss, Jerry Reinsdorf and Melo.

--Dan Loumena

Photo: Ron Artest makes life miserable for Celtics forward Paul Pierce in the NBA Finals. Credit: Getty Images