Ron Artest might have to cancel that Euro trip he was planning. While he has agreed to play with the Cheshire Jets in the UK and appears really excited, issues with garnering the insurance needed for him to actually play there are causing problems. Team officials, while holding out hope it can get done, say they will have to work really hard in these next few days to make something happen. This better all come together. We were promised Ron on British soap operas. We can’t turn back now … Arvydas Sabonis had not come back to Portland in nearly a decade. But he did on Thursday as thousands came out to support him in the wake of his Hall of Fame entrance. We were there … A few years after he notoriously stated that he didn’t like gays and didn’t want to be around them, Tim Hardaway has turned his stance around. Three politicians in Texas – Mayor John Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega – are being recalled because some religious conservatives were mad they voted to restore health benefits for gay and unmarried partners of city employees. Hardaway encouraged people to oppose the recall efforts against them, and put his story out there as an example as someone who’s changed his feelings on the matter. He says he’s gone to counseling and grown up, catching up with the times. While some will always question the motives for something like this, especially after the backlash he received upon his initial comments, it’s great to hear a guy like Hardaway explain how he sees the world differently now … In news outta the “not so shocking” department, LeBron James is near the top of some new celebrity-hating poll. 2,000 Americans voted in an Ipsos poll, and made James the second-most hated American athlete (trailing only Tiger Woods), on the opposite side of Betty White, who is the most-liked and most-trusted celeb. Awesome. But perhaps we should take this with a grain of salt. Charlie Sheen came in at No. 2 most hated. Get way outta here with that. And Kobe Bryant came in at No. 10 for the “least trusted” poll. Yes, they have a poll for trusting celebs. That’s semi-creepy … Well, we knew Kobe was smart. But learning some Mandarin is pretty impressive. Either way, the best part of this video isn’t Kobe or learning new languages or how he tells everyone he wants to skydive. It’s the female asking him questions. Talk about a Dimepiece. We need to hit her up … Earlier this summer, people in Leandro Barbosa’s camp were pushing him to go home and play in Brazil to take advantage of the money and sponsorship opportunities. Now he has, jettisoning Toronto for the Rio de Janeiro-based club, Flamengo. He does have an opt-out however for whenever the NBA season begins … While everyone’s focus will be on tonight’s epic Drew League vs. Goodman League showdown, the city of Baltimore hosted another crazy playground game last night. The All-Stars from Rucker Park and the ‘Melo League All-Stars faced off at St. Frances, with Josh Selby, Donte Greene, Gary Neal and Marcus Hatten repping the ‘Melo League. We can’t remember the last time we saw Hatten play. Back in the day, we all thought he was the next Iverson … And we told y’all how to stream the Goodman/Drew game. The problem is the price just went up to $9.99. Freakin’ recession … We’re out like Leandro.
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