Lakers Trade Rumors: Iguodala for Odom talks died because of Odom

Trade talks between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers for a swap between Andre Iguodala and Lamar Odom may have died because of Odom himself.
According to HoopsWorld, "Philadelphia wasn't going to trade Iguodala for Odom if the latter was going to be unhappy and unmotivated. That's when the talks died."

Essentially, the 76ers didn't want Odom to come to the team if he didn't want to be there.

Odom has been the subject of numerous trade rumors since weeks before the draft. He has been connected with the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard, the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, and other teams around the NBA for their draft picks.
Odom is perhaps the Lakers' most tradable asset because of his contract.

He is a quality power forward in the league making only $8.9 million next year. He also has a team option for the same amount next year, or the team can buy out his contract for about $2 million, freeing up salary cap space for the team.

In addition, Odom is only 31 years old averaging 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in his 12 year career.

Iguodala is younger than Odom and may have more potential at 27 years of age. In his career, Iguodala has averaged 15.6 poitns and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Like Odom, Iguodala has also been linked in numerous trade rumors including with the Golden State Warriors in a trade for Monta Ellis.


Vietnam and China Pledge to Peacefully Resolve Maritime Dispute

China and Vietnam pledged Sunday to resolve their maritime dispute in the South China Sea through peaceful dialogue.

Chinese media says Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son met in Beijing Saturday and agreed to address the dispute through negotiations and peaceful, friendly consultations.

However, no details on specific plans or timing were given.
Meanwhile, about 100 Vietnamese rallied in the capital of Hanoi Sunday for the fourth consecutive weekend to protest against China's role in the escalating dispute.

The crowd grew as it marched through Hanoi's streets, chanting and singing patriotic songs. The demonstrators were outnumbered by police, who let the peaceful protest continue.

The rare demonstrations are in response to rising tensions in the diplomatic dispute over competing claims to the Spratly and Paracel island chains and other maritime territories.

Last month, Vietnam complained that a Chinese patrol ship severed an exploration cable trailing from an oil survey ship operating in waters inside Vietnam's exclusive economic zone. The Philippines also has complained of Chinese patrol boats interfering with oil exploration off its western coast.

In each case, China insisted its ships were operating appropriately in waters under Beijing's administration.


Dallas Mavericks beat Miami Heat to win their first NBA Championship

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks captured their first NBA championship on Sunday with a 105-95 win over the Miami Heat - the team that denied Dallas the title five years ago.
Jason Terry scored 27 points and Nowitzki finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks won the best-of-seven championship series four-games-to-two.
Germany's Nowitzki was named Most Valuable Player of the finals, finally earning the NBA's biggest prize to secure his place among the NBA's greats.
"We are world champions. It sounds unbelievable," said Nowitzki, who turns 33 next Sunday. "This feels amazing."
Terry ran the clock down in the final minute then passed to a wide open Shawn Marion who chose not to shoot as the seconds clicked down.
When the buzzer sounded Marion handed the ball to 17-year veteran guard Jason Kidd who tried twice before in the finals with the New Jersey Nets but failed to get a Championship ring.
"Everybody wrote us off but ourselves," Kidd said. "No matter how old you are we understood how to play the game.
"I don't feel 38 mentally or physically. I feel great."
Kidd and J.J. Barea combined to finish with 24 points and 13 assists for the Mavericks, who clinched their first NBA championship in their 31-year franchise history.
LeBron James scored a team-high 21 points and Dwyane Wade finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Heat, who failed to send the series to a decisive seventh game despite having home court advantage.
"Hats go off to Dallas," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "There is an emptiness to it. It was a tough series. Sometimes you just come up short. Crunch time needed to be done, they made bigger plays than us."
This year's final was a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, which Miami took in six games for its first title in franchise history.
With Terry having a superb start to game six, the Mavericks led 53-51 at the end of the first half in what began as a game of runs by either side. Terry came off the bench to score 19 points in the first two quarters on eight-of-ten shooting.
James had his best start of the series by scoring nine points and dishing three assists in the first quarter. But he never did get the synergy going with his fellow superstars Wade and Chris Bosh, who finished with 19 points in game six.
"It hurts of course," said James, who made his first four field goals of the contest.
Tempers flared halfway through the second quarter when the Mavericks' DeShawn Stevenson and Miami's Udonis Haslem got into a shoving match.
Haslem was celebrating an Eddie House three pointer when he brushed past Stevenson who shoved him. The Heat players came charging off the bench and Mario Chalmers made a bee line for Stevenson.
Chalmers, Haslem and Stevenson all received technical fouls but no one was ejected because a timeout had already been called before the players left the bench.
"Our guys took it personally tonight," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. "They were not going to be denied. Dirk and Jet (Terry) have had to live for five years with what happened in 2006 and as of tonight those demons are officially destroyed."
Nowitzki struggled early Sunday, scoring just a single point in the second quarter, and finishing with three points on one-of-12 shooting in the opening half. But once again he finished strong by scoring 10 of his 21 in the fourth.
"He goes one-for-12 in the first half and then in the second half he was just absolute money," Carlisle said.
Dallas's Ian Mahinmi, of France, nailed a buzzer-beating field goal at the end of the third to give the Mavericks a nine point lead at 81-72. Dallas got their own rebound and Terry ran down the clock and then pump faked James before slipping a short pass over to Mahinmi who got nothing but net.
The Heat had almost twice as many free throw chances as the Mavericks but hit just 60 percent of them. They also had 16 turnovers.
Although the Mavericks had several players in foul trouble in the fourth, they built their biggest lead of 13 points in the final period.


Gilbert Arenas, athletes still causing Twitter headaches

Likewise for the deluge of regrettable tweets by athletes and coaches, like the ones that brought Orlando Magic guard Gilbert Arenas an NBA fine Wednesday and brought criticism to New Orleans Saints halfback Reggie Bush last month.

What we don't know, and what coaches, teams and leagues are scrambling to figure out, is how to deal with a medium built upon spontaneity.

"Twitter was especially designed to be the world's most promiscuous communication medium," says Robert Thompson, Professor of Popular Culture at Syracuse University. "Forget the editorial process, forget a second draft, and forget simply a second thought. It just comes out."

But the pitfalls of Twitter are nothing new in sports. As early as 2008, pro and college players were being fined or suspended for their 140-character missives. Yet some athletes have endured Twitter backlash on more than one occasion, including Arenas.

So why can't athletes avoid the trap?

"That's like asking 'Why does a guy keep lining up on the wrong side of the formation?' " says former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon. "It's because they're just not thinking."

But social media researchers say there's more to it. Homero Gil de Zuniga, assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Journalism, points to an aspect of human-computer interaction that makes tweeting a socially risky undertaking.

"The misuse of Twitter is due to a lack of understanding of the power of social media," says Gil de Zuniga. "If you were in the middle of a public square, you wouldn't yell something you might post on Twitter. But in reality, when you tweet, that's what you're doing.

"That's hard to understand when it's you and a keyboard. There's a sense of intimacy and to some degree anonymity. It doesn't feel like you're talking to 2 million people."

That might explain why Arenas tweeted June 1 that he would be "direct sexting in no time" and comments that could be interpreted as sexual innuendo.

Or why Bush tweeted last month that he was enjoying the NFL lockout: "Right about now we would be slaving in 100 degree heat, practicing twice a day, while putting our bodies at risk for nothing."

Bush endured fan backlash and later tweeted that he was only kidding.

Arenas tweeted Wednesday that he was fined for his actions, but did not specify which tweets were in question. Arenas had just rejoined Twitter on May 31, the night of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, after he quit the social website in the wake of his January 2010 suspension by the NBA relating to his felony gun possession charge, and the following tweet:

"i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE. lmao"

Orlando Magic spokesman Joel Glass declined Wednesday to reveal the offending tweet or tweets or the fine amount. The NBA declined to comment.

Erik Qualman, author of a best-selling book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business on the impact of social media, says the youth of the average tweeting athlete helps explain why players get into hot water.

"You're talking about a younger generation, Generation Y, whose interpersonal communication skills are different from Generation X," Qualman says. "The younger generation is more comfortable saying something through a digital mechanism than even face to face."

Qualman explains that athletes such as Bush, who are constantly in the news media spotlight, don't have their guard up when tweeting.

"He's always been in the spotlight," Qualman says. "So when he's in front of reporters he puts the filter on. But then when you're tweeting you don't put up that mental block."

But avoiding reporters is one of the reasons athletes flock to Twitter.

Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely sees Twitter as a way to connect with fans on a previously unreachable level.

"It gives us the ability to not have to go through the media," Feely says. "You get the opportunity to not go through a writer, whose going to write the story the way he wants to write it. You have the chance to create your own narrative. "

Leagues on the lookout

The risk is something teams and leagues are struggling to come to terms with. More than half of NBA players have Twitter accounts, according to USA TODAY research. In the NFL, more than 1,000 players spread across 32 teams maintain active accounts.

The popularity of the medium forced the NBA to draft policies concerning when and how employees can use Twitter. In 2009 the league drafted a social media policy that prohibits players from posting to social media sites 45 minutes before a game until media leave the locker room postgame. The NFL adopted a similar policy in 2009. The NHL is working on a policy now.

"There are players that use it judiciously and those that don't," says Julie Fie, VP of communications for the Phoenix Suns. "We keep our fingers crossed when we say that nobody's crossed the line. I won't be surprised if something like that happens."

Major League Baseball, which has just over 200 tweeting players, does not have a Twitter policy, but it did set a precedent by fining Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen two games and $20,000 for his bitter tweets after being kicked out of a game in late April.

In the college ranks, where tweets have brought suspensions upon numerous athletes, several coaches have decided to ban social media among players.

At Mississippi State University, men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury instructed players not to use Twitter last season after a player criticized the team's performance in a postgame tweet.

"Twitter has allowed the outside world to come into your locker room," Stansbury says. "I think that's affected coaches' ability to keep things in-house and to build team unity and togetherness."

He says his ban on Twitter isn't permanent.

"I think it's based on the maturity of the team," he says. "Some players don't show enough maturity to understand that they can't take back what they say and the world sees it."

Stansbury's stance is an increasingly popular one. Boise State and North Carolina are among the football programs that have banned Twitter.

"If I were a head coach … my temptation would be to say, 'Look, we can't have you out there spewing whatever you're thinking at any given time,' " Thompson says. "On the other hand, I don't think people should be allowed to tell other people what technology to use ."

Miami football coach Al Golden weighed both sides of the argument when he inherited a Twitter ban by previous coach Randy Shannon. A tweeter himself, Golden sees social media as a teaching tool.

"Everything that we're trying to do is about empowering the kids," Golden says. "Rather than have systematic control, I would much rather say to them, 'Look guys, I know everybody in your age group does this. Just understand that you're a little bit different. People are going to be watching you.' "

But such a stance can create a nightmare for public relations departments who seek to control the message. In the NBA and NFL, newcomers are lectured on the dangers of social media at educational rookie camps in the preseason. In college, some programs turn to outside consultants to monitor social media use among students, alerting coaches and staffers of missteps.

This sort of institutional control will soon mean tamer tweets, and less fun for the voyeuristic public, Thompson says.

"Among sports figures there's going to be a progressively more careful and sophisticated and managed way that they go about doing this," he says. "The longer this stuff is around, the more filtered it will eventually be and it will be a lot less fun to follow them.

"Enjoy it now."