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Larry the Legend confirms: Artest is done in Indy

Larry Bird finally commented on the Ron Artest situation, saying the following to the Indianapolis Star:

“I don’t know if this is the right wording, but I felt betrayed. We’re disappointed. Things happen, maybe it’s a good thing. He’s a very talented player. I always liked working with him and how he went about things on the basketball court. He’s a top-12 player in the league, but we’re in a situation where we have to move on. I think enough is enough. … I think Ronnie will do fine but not here.”

The Pacers have said that ten teams are still in the running as destinations for Artest, but the two teams being mentioned consistenly are the Denver Nuggets (for Earl Watson and Nene) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (for Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi). The Denver deal would be better for the Pacers, as they would be getting more in return for Artest. Bird is right, Artest is a Top-12 player on the court, but off the court, he’s a headache, a la Terrell Owens. The Pacers will not get equal value for Artest basketball-wise, but they should come close to getting total value for him, given all the drama that seems to constantly surround the superstar.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Week 16 Preview

Every week, I submit six names our fantasy football owners – three marginal players to start and three to bench. Let’s see how I did last week:

START

David Garrard, JAX – 216 passing yards, 27 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD (HIT)

Ryan Moats, PHI – 78 rushing yards, 1 TD (HIT)

Jimmy Smith, JAX – 6 receptions, 70 yards (PUSH)

BENCH

Mike Vick, ATL – 122 passing yards, 2 INT, 35 rushing yards (HIT)

Willis McGahee, BUF – 50 total yards, 1 TD (MISS)

Mushin Muhammad, CHI– 3 catches, 40 yards (HIT)

On to this week’s picks:

START

QB – Steve McNair, TEN
McNair’s matchup against a suspect MIA secondary is a good one.

RB – Carnell Williams, TB
Cadillac has a pretty good matchup against a Falcons rush defense that is not playing too well.

WR – Samie Parker, KC
Parker may still be available on your waiver wire if you need help. He’s been playing well lately and the KC/SD game should be a high scoring affair.

BENCH

QB – Brett Favre, CHI
Favre faces a very tough Bears defense on the frozen tundra in Green Bay.

RB – Edgerrin James, IND
HC Tony Dungy has said he’ll be treating this game as a preseason affair, so don’t expect to see any major Colts out there for more than a half.

WR – Deion Branch, NE
Beware of Pats this week, as the team has nothing to play for. Plus, Branch faces a good Jets pass defense.

Make the deal, Hendry

Just saw a bit on Rotoworld about the Cubs and Orioles discussing a swap of Miguel Tejada for Mark Prior. Now, I love Mark Prior (one of my former coworkers was so fascinated with the boy’s calves that it bordered on creepy), and I think he’s a fabulous pitcher with just the right amount of mean to be an all-time great. But I think I speak for all Cubs fans when I say: Make that trade!

Pierre, Jones, Lee, Miggy, Aramis, Murton, Barrett. Sweet mercy. That is a potent lineup, right there. The sticking blocks seem to be in the additional players, as the Cubs want lefty Erik Bedard and the O’s want raw five-tool prospect Felix Pie. So Mr. Hendry and Mr. Angelos (I know he’s not the GM, but he’s still running everything), let me broker this deal for you both. Jim, send Prior, shortstop Ronny Cedeno, Corey Patterson and pitcher Angel Guzman to Baltimore. Peter, simply send us Tejada and Bedard. Cedeno is ready to play in the bigs, and the O’s get two good to great pitchers, not to mention a player who could blossom into a star with a change of scenery. Everybody wins.

There is big time pressure on the Cubs to at least make an attempt to win it all next year. If they pull this trade off, it will be a hell of a start. Do it, Jim. Cubs Nation is counting on you.

Kobe drops 62 on the Mavs

Kobe Bryant scored a career high 62 points in the Lakers’ 112-90 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. He did most of his damage in the third quarter, scoring 30 points in the period before sitting the entire fourth quarter. He shot 18-31 from the field, including 4-10 from long range. He also shot 25 free throws, connecting on 22 of them.

No other Lakers scored in double figures.

Idiots take Manhattan

Red Sox Nation is likely planning a public burning at Government Center this morning after news leaked that Johnny Damon switched teams, taking a deal from the Yankees for four years and $52 million. They’re going to turn on him just like they turned on Nomar. They’ll call him a lousy bum, a traitor.

Which is, of course, nonsense. ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd nailed it this morning on his radio show The Herd. Boston wears its players out. If they hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to win a game, a fan will still say, “Well, what about last week, when you popped out to end the game?” New York, on the other hand, treats its players like stars. Is it any wonder why so many players go from Boston to New York, but very few go from New York to Boston? It makes me laugh to think that there was once talk of Derek Jeter playing for the Red Sox. Never in a million years would Jeter play for Boston.

Now that this deal is done, expect the Manny talk to heat up some more. You know he’s looking at that depleted offense and thinking, “Aye, carumba!”

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